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Thursday, 14 November 1974
Page: 2463

Senator Greenwood asked the Minister for the Media, upon notice:

(1)   Who are the present members of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board.

(2)   When was each members first and last appointed.

(3)   What is the term of office of each member.

(4)   Was the Minister aware at the time of their appointment whether any of the members of the Board were (a) members of any, and if so, what political party, and (b) supporters of any, and if so, what political party.

(5)   If the answer to any part of (4) is in the negative, did the Minister make any inquiries as to whether the proposed members had political affiliations; if so, what did the inquiries reveal.

(6)   Does membership or support of the Australian Labor Party prevent or inhibit a member of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board from discharging his obligations as a member of the Board.

(7)   What were the qualifications of each member for his appointment to the Board.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(   1 ) The Broadcasting and Television Act provides that the Board shall consist of three full-time members and two part time members and are as follows:

Full-time Members

Mr Myles Fortunatus Evelyn Wright (TASMANIA) - Chairman Mr JohnEdwin Neary, O.B.E.- Vice-chairman Mr William Leslie Carrington Davies

Part-time Members

Mr EdmundNetterville Williams

Mr HaroldJames Souter

(2)   Mr M.F. E. Wright appointed 15 March 1966, reappointed 15 March 1971. Mr J. E. Neary appointed 27 June 1973, appointed Vice-chairman 1 February 1974. Mr W. L. C. Davies appointed 1 February 1974. Mr E. N. Williams appointed 31 January 1973. Mr H. J. Souter appointed 1 March 1974.

(3)   Mr M.F. E. Wright-15 March 1971 to 15 March 1976. Mr J. E. Neary-1 February 1974 to 1 February 1979. Mr W. L. C. Davies- 1 February 1974 to 1 February 1979. Mr E. N. Williams-3 1 January 1 973 to 3 1 January 1 976. Mr H. J. Souter- 1 March 1974 to 1 March 1979.

(4)   I knew of my own knowledge that Mr Souter was a member of the Australian Labor Party at the time of his appointment. I also knew of my own knowledge that he was Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, and in conformity with Government policy that there should be a member of the Trade Union Movement appointed to Government statutory boards and commissions, Mr Souter was so appointed.

(5)   It is not my general practice to enquire into the political affiliations, if any, of any person being recommended by me for appointment to an authority for which I am the responsible Minister.

(6)   1 would not think so.

(7)   At the time of their respective appointments I released a press statement setting out the qualifications of the members of the Board who have been appointed by this Government. Each of them has various skills and qualifications warranting their appointment to the Board.

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