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Wednesday, 23 October 1974
Page: 1909

Senator GUILFOYLE (Victoria) -I think Senator Steele Hall has oversimplified the remark I made about feature films. The remark I made about feature films was to stress the fact that they also need access to Australian cinemas if we are to develop a commercial industry which is profitable and which can expand its operations.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - There is no dearth of feature film production in Australia today; and there is no dearth of short film production, but there is a dearth of the availability of distribution.

Senator GUILFOYLE - I was just going on to say that. I referred to the feature film producers to draw to the attention of the Minister the fact that the industry was not highly delighted with the construction of the Australian Film Commission or the requirements within the Bill. I accepted the quota that the Minister imposed, or sought to impose, with regard to short films because it was a quota related to the short films which the theatres had agreed already to show. If we must draw a parallel I suppose that we get back to the Australian Broadcasting Control Board Authority Act. I would not say to Australian theatres that they shall show certain films. Neither would I say to them that they shall show certain short films that have been produced by the authority or at the direction of the Minister. The basis of our disagreement with the inclusion of clause 10 is that it relates to the inclusion of the authority of the Minister over the functions of the Commission. Senator Steele Hall's suggestion that his amendment would be acceptable if it included feature films is not consistent with the comments that I made earlier. I indicate to him that that would not entice us to accept his amendment.

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