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 Report 12

Australian Broadcasting Tribunal Procedures, 1981

Summary of the report

The report was transmitted to the Government on 25 February 1981, and was tabled on 9 April 1981.

The Council made 34 recommendations in the report including, among other things, recommendations: on the initiation of inquiries by the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal ('ABT'); for a uniform inquiry procedure; for the public availability of documents; concerning procedures for conduct of an inquiry involving hearings; relating to conferences and preliminary hearings; and, touching on standing.

Response to the report

The Broadcasting and Television Amendment Act 1984 and the Broadcasting and Television Amendment Act 1985substantially implemented the Council's recommendations. The 1984 Act provided for the continuance of a licence while the ABT conducted an inquiry, and for the constitution of Divisions of the ABT.

The 1985 Act implemented a large number of the Council's recommendations, including those relating to: the provision of uniform inquiry procedures; the power of the ABT to make confidentiality orders; public participation in proceedings; the determination of parties to a proceeding; control of proceedings; the representation of parties; the provision of legal assistance to the ABT; the requirement that the ABT give reasons for its decisions; the power of the ABT to investigate or comment upon matters connected with past or future broadcasting practices of a licensee; and, prescribed forms.

Most of the remaining recommendations were implemented by the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal (Inquiries) Regulations 1986, notified in the Gazette on 23 May 1986.