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Wednesday, 31 October 1956

Mr DAVIDSON - The honorable member has introduced quite an important matter bearing on the introduction of television and the ensuring of favorable reception by viewers. I dealt with it fairly fully recently when speaking on the Estimates.

The position is that at present no such legislative action is contemplated, although provision was made in the Broadcasting and Television Bill for the formulating of regulations should it prove necessary. As I said at the time, it is not desired to take such action if it can be avoided. In order to make some preliminary arrangements in the matter, the Australian Broadcasting Control Board has for some time been consulting the authorities which will be brought into this mailer if it is to be properly dealt with. For instance, regarding the interference to be expected from new motor vehicles, the board has consulted the various manufacturers and distributors, and also the chambers of manufactures in the two States concerned, interference from old moto; vehicles becomes a problem for the State authorities, and discussions on that aspect of the problem have been held already with the Chief Secretary's Department in Victoria and the Commissioner for Road Transport in New South Wales. Interference is also possible from the use of various household appliances fitted with electric motors, and also from equipment used by the medical profession. Discussions have taken place with representatives of those persons who are responsible for the distribution of such appliances and equipment. I am glad to be able to tell the House that up to the present a great deal of co-operation has been received from all of these persons and we are hopeful that the matter will be dealt with successfully without the need for legislation. In conclusion, I wish to make it clear that these steps which I have outlined briefly are simply preliminary measures which have been taken, and that a firm plan for dealing with the matter cannot be evolved until such time as we have had more practical experience with television, and have ascertained the degree to which these various factors cause interference and the kind of action that should be taken in regard to them.

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