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Tuesday, 8 May 2012
Page: 4200

Maranoa Electorate: Analog Television Services

(Question No. 408)

Mr Bruce Scott asked the Minister representing the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, in writing, on 1 June 2011:

(1) How many communities in the remote television licence area in the electorate of Maranoa are receiving their analogue television services via a local government-operated self-help rebroadcast facility.

(2) What would be the cost of converting these self-help analogue facilities in the same electorate to an

(a) MPEG-2, and (b) MPEG-4, data format with the digital signal received via satellite.

Mr Albanese: The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) There are 19 towns in the remote central and eastern Australia licence area in the Commonwealth electorate of Maranoa that receive television via analog retransmission. Of these towns, five are council funded self-help retransmission sites (Adavale, Eromanga, Eulo, Wyandra and Yowah).

(2) It is not the Australian government's policy to provide digital television retransmission services at remote analog self-help sites. The Department has not assessed the cost of conversion to digital at these sites. This would require a competitive tender process approved for this purpose. Factors that would need to be taken into account at each site include the range and extent of capital works required and the ongoing maintenance costs involved.

Minister Conroy informed Councils in March 2010 that local councils who wish to pursue a retransmission option must do so at their own expense. This includes costs associated with going to market to attract potential tenderers or costs incurred in seeking independent commercial advice about the provision of the necessary services.