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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 3164

Senator POYSER (VICTORIA) -Has the Minister for the Media seen Press reports that 70 production staff employed by the Australian Broadcasting Commission in Sydney and Melbourne face the sack? Can the Minister outline the position of these workers and the future they face? Is there any possibility of their positions being safeguarded?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I saw the report to which the honourable senator has referred. The production staff mentioned were casuals who were employed by the Australian Broadcasting Commission for specific projects. In Melbourne they were engaged on set production and matters of that nature for the very highly successful ABC television production Rush', filming of which has now finished. It has been shown on the ABC. The staff was told at the time they started that they would be employed only for the purpose of that series. As the honourable senator would know, the Australian Government provided the ABC with additional finance to enable it to go into that sort of television production. The 20 Sydney staff were employed as casuals to build a village at Belrose in Sydney for the production of a television series on the life of the Australian bushranger Ben Hall. That is a co-production arrangement entered into by the ABC and the British Broadcasting Corporation. Work has finished on that set production but the workers will be kept in mind for any future employment.

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