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Tuesday, 22 October 1974
Page: 1833


Senator GIETZELT (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the Minister for the Media seen a report that the New South Wales Minister for Education, Mr Willis, was astounded recently to discover that the average school age child in Australia watches television for 28 hours a week? Has he noted that this report quotes Mr Willis as saying that he had a check made by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board to discover this figure? Can the Minister indicate what power the New South Wales Minister for Education has to direct the Australian Broadcasting Control Board in its audience research activities?


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I have seen the report in one of this morning's newspapers which states that the New South Wales Minister for Education had said that he had had the Australian Broadcasting Control Board make a check on the figures relating to programs watched by school age children and their viewing habits. Mr Willis appears to have been astounded by information that certainly is at least 3 years old and which has been made available to the public for at least 3 years. The figures that he has quoted are taken from the report on research that was done for the Australian Broadcasting Control Board by its senior research officer as long ago as 1971. The report was titled 'Television Viewing by Young Secondary Students'. Mr Willis, like any other member of the Australian public, is entitled to information of a public nature that has been obtained and made available by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board. I doubt whether it can be suggested in those circumstances that the New South Wales Minister for Education has directed the Board to make the check to which the honourable senator referred.







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