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Thursday, 22 October 1931

Mr SCULLIN - Consideration of the claims of the broadcasting companies for compensation has not yet been concluded.

Mr ELDRIDGE asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -

1.   Has his attention been directed to a statement in the Hobart Mercury of the 9th September last by the Director of Postal Services in which Mr. Brown admits that broadcasting station 7ZL, Hobart, is not up to date, and states that it is difficult to serve Tasmania with radio owing to handicaps such as hills and dense timber, also that it was never contemplated that 7ZL should serve the whole State?

2.   Has the Minister's attention been directed also to the flood of hostile correspondence in the Hobart press which followed these statements by Mr. Brown?

3.   Does the Minister agree that the broadcasting service of Tasmania is inadequate?

4.   In view of the fact that a sum approximating £150,000 has been paid by listeners in licence fees especially for the purpose of maintaining and improving the broadcasting services, and that this sumhas been diverted to Consolidated Revenue, and has not been used for the purpose for which it was collected, will the Minister take action to have one or more up-to-date broadcasting stations erected to serve the Tasmanian public?

Mr A GREEN (KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follow : -

1.   Yes.

2.   Yes.

3.   In common with many extensive areas of the Commonwealth, the extent of the service in Tasmania does not comply with the contemplated standards which the department desires to establish and, although the Tasmanian revenue is less than the expense at present incurred, steps were taken to make additional provision, but the work had, unfortunately, to remain in abeyance because of the nation's financial embarrassment.

4.   It is the intention of the Government to improve the conditions in Tasmania as soon as national finances will permit of this being done.

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