Select Committee on Road Safety
Select Committee on the Container Method of Handling Cargoes
Responding to growing discontent about the lack of local content, the Senate established a select committee to investigate ways of encouraging Australian television productions in November 1962.
The committee’s report, tabled in October 1963, found widespread concern about the effect of the American dominance of television content on Australia’s national culture and identity. Drama programs, comprising over half of total transmission time, were singled out—83 per cent were imported from America and 13 per cent from Britain, with Australian content ‘so minute as to be almost non-existent’.
The report’s 79 recommendations included tax offsets and exemptions for production companies and investors, pay increases and overseas scholarships for actors, incentivising development of plays suitable for television and, most significantly, a quota system for Australian drama productions.
While the report received little public acknowledgement or government support when first published, its long-term influence on Australia’s television and performing arts industries has been significant. Moreover, following increased local content regulations, the mid-1960s heralded the beginning of a golden age of Australian drama.
Portrait of Senator Victor Seddon Vincent, July 1950, National Library of Australia, nla.obj-137356572
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ABC Radio National, The Science Show, 2006
NFSA Digital Learning, National Film and Sound Archive