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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 6 Hansard (22 May) . . Page.. 1613 ..

MS HORODNY: Why is it okay for the locations of all the McDonald's stores in Canberra to be specially indicated on the maps in the Bus Book when McDonald's is presently engaged in a highly publicised and highly politically motivated legal campaign in England, popularly called the McLibel case, against two environmentalists who publicly raised a number of criticisms about McDonald's, including the sourcing of their meat from intensive agricultural farms? I table this document as well.

Mr Kaine: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. Ms Horodny could keep talking under a truckload of wet concrete. I am seeking to determine whether the member is making a political statement or whether she is seeking to ask the Minister a question.

MR SPEAKER: I have to uphold Mr Kaine's point of order about the length of the question. I must also point out that whatever a company is doing in another country is not really relevant to this Assembly. The lead-up to your question, Ms Horodny, related to advertising on ACTION buses. That is perfectly in order. I would ask you, however, to restrict your comments to that area.

MS HORODNY: The question is: Could you explain why ACTION thought this simple ad on ACTION buses was not okay and why you think it is okay for McDonald's to be represented throughout the whole ACTION Bus Book?

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, first of all, I am not able to answer the question about what other governments in other countries do. Another part of Ms Horodny's question asked for some legal opinion or cited some legal opinion. That part was out of order as well, so I will not answer it. The answer to why ACTION refused the advertising of Animal Liberation is that I do not know but I will find out and let you know. Ms Horodny also referred to the fact that the Government Minister's picture is in the front of the Bus Book. That is comparing apples with pears. The picture is there because the Government is telling people what is actually happening.

Ms Horodny also asked about McDonald's. I think you will find that McDonald's contributed quite a deal of money to help pay for the Bus Book. This meant that the community had to pay only $2 for it. They would have to pay a bit more if generous companies like McDonald's and others were not prepared to put their money where their mouth is and actually advertise in the Bus Book. I also alert Ms Horodny to the fact that anti-abortion ads by the Right to Life Association were banned in 1993 by the former Labor Government, and perhaps rightly so. If political opinions start coming forward from every organisation that has one, either we knock everybody back or we take everybody on board and leave no room for anything else on buses. I will check why ACTION refused the advertisement Ms Horodny referred to and let her know.

MS HORODNY: I have a supplementary question for the Minister. What guidelines does ACTION use to decide whether proposed advertising on buses is acceptable or not, particularly in terms of its political content, and are these guidelines publicly available?

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