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Thursday, 13 October 1983
Page: 1804

Question No. 533

Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 14 September 1983:

(1) Did he announce in the House on 23 August 1983 the introduction of a three year program called the Remote or Underserved Communities Scheme which will extend ABC radio and television services to areas not presently receiving such services.

(2) Is there any difference in principle between this scheme and the three year program for improved television reception announced by his predecessor on 17 August 1982.

(3) Which areas are to receive improved radio and television reception in stages 2 and 3 of the scheme.

Mr Duffy —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) Yes. My predecessor's announcement referred to the final year of the Remote Area Television (RATV) Program which, beginning in 1980, has now brought ABC television to 75 out of a planned 77 communities. The Remote or Underserved Communities Scheme (RUCS) which I announced on 23 August 1983 is a new scheme designed to bring both ABC radio to 12 communities in eastern Australia and Tasmania and ABC television services to 42 communities throughout Australia over the three-year period from 1983-84 to 1985-86.

(3) In my statement of 23 August I said that the communities to be served by ABC television have yet to be firmly identified, but that I expect to make an announcment giving their names once detailed field studies are completed.

My statement of 23 August also gave the names of the 12 communities to be provided with ABC radio services. They are: Bombala, Cootamundra, Corowa, Moruya , Narooma, Nowra (N.S.W.), Wangaratta (Vic.), Rosebery, Savage River, Strahan, Waratah and Zeehan (Tas).