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Monday, 20 May 1985
Page: 2203

Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(10.15) —I am advised that Telecom Australia and the Department of Communications have been very active in ensuring that television coverage by the terrestrial route will be increased and improved on Eyre Peninsula. It seems to me that I have been hearing that ever since Senator Messner came into this Parliament and even longer than that. I am assured that once the Aussat satellite is up that whole area will be covered by its range.

Senator Messner —But how can we determine whether both national and commercial television services will be available?

Senator GRIMES —The immediate result will be the availability of Australian Broadcasting Corporation services. If Senator Messner has read the newspapers recently, he will know that there is considerable discussion about what commercial services will be available, how they will be available and who will provide them. A Government decision has been made, but that will be delayed beyond the availability of the ABC service.

Senator Messner —I am sorry; did you say that you as a government had made the decision about the commercial television, but you were not yet in a position to announce it?

Senator GRIMES —Senator Messner will know that there is an existing policy about the regional networks using the satellite. There have been some discussions about modifications of that but no decisions have been made in that area yet.