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Thursday, 31 October 1974
Page: 2183

Senator POYSER (VICTORIA) -Has the Minister for the Media seen a report that the Australian Broadcasting Commission and the Literature Board of the Australian Council for the Arts are negotiating an arrangement about publishing a highclass literary magazine similar to the British Broadcasting Corporation's 'Listener'? Is this report correct? If so, how far have the negotiations proceeded? Can the Minister say what the likelihood is of such a worthwhile magazine being published in Australia?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) -Some time ago my parliamentary colleagues, the honourable member for Denison, Mr Coates, and the honourable member for Macarthur, Mr Kerin, approached me on this subject suggesting that it would be to the literary advantage of Australians if a magazine were produced in Australia somewhat akin to the BBC's 'Listener' and also akin to the publication put out by the New Zealand Broadcasting Commission. I raised this matter with the Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, Professor Downing, and the General Manager, Mr Duckmanton. As a result, after discussing it with the members of the Commission, they have had negotiations with the Australian Council for the Arts. I understand that the 2 organisations between them have now arranged for a feasibility study to be conducted by a well-known journalist in Australia, Mr Donald Home, as to the economic viability of such a proposition. I understand that they are expecting a report on the subject from Mr Home in the near future. I am hoping personally that the feasibility study will assert that such a publication is economically viable because I believe it certainly is something that is really warranted in Australia. Time after time I, as Minister for the Media, have received requests from a large number of people and from diverse sections of the Australian people to be provided with scripts of broadcasts or television interviews that have taken place, particularly in ABC programs. I would have thought that such a publication would contribute greatly to the uplifting of electronic media standards and the broadening of knowledge for all Australians.

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