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Wednesday, 27 November 1974
Page: 2830

Senator PRIMMER (VICTORIA) - I ask the Minister for the Media whether his Department has made any attempt to ascertain a profile of the media industries. Has the Department looked into employment structure and numbers? Has an effort been made to evaluate what the media industries are worth in their many forms? Has there been an opportunity to look at the question of ownership of these industries?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I did see a reference to a matter of this nature in an article in, I think it was, today's Melbourne 'Age' written by a Mr Walker who is a journalist for that newspaper. It is true, as the honourable senator has suggested in his question, that my Department is involved in an examination of the media industries and that such a detailed examination is the first of its sort in Australia. It is one which will tell the nation much about this vital part of the business life of the Australian community. The task of my officers who are engaged on this activity is to define what the media industries are, what their employment picture is, what are the financial statistics which are available, right down to the value of the services that are produced and, of course, their relationship to the gross national product. Naturally the task is a long, detailed and involved one and my officers would not be able to do it finally and effectively unless there is the complete co-operation of all the industries involved. In regard to the last part of the honourable senator's question, I can confirm also that the inquiry relates to the interlocking ownership and directorate control patterns throughout the media industries and that subject, of course, has been under inquiry by the Broadcasting Control Board over a period of years.

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