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Monday, 6 March 1995
Page: 1573

Mr ABBOTT —I support the introduction of pay TV but not at the expense of the local environment. Telecommunication companies now propose to deliver pay TV by cables draped from existing power poles: that is, cables of the diameter of a one-dollar coin draped from pole to pole with a signal amplifier the size of a briefcase suspended from the wire every 200 metres. Maybe some communities will be prepared to accept overhead cabling even more cluttered and ugly than it is at present, but I suspect that the vast majority would object to having the information superhighway dangling overhead right outside their front doors.

  I have just received a petition signed by 400 local residents organised by Dr and Mrs Kevin Marks which states:

Of course we want bright street lights atop neat poles. Of course we need electricity, telephones, computers, television, mobile phones. We'll want to use pay TV. But we don't want these at the expense of our homes and workplaces.

We want to see the sky, trees and shrubs, hills and water from our residential streets, without the intrusion of ugly swathes of wires and a whole landscape of surrealist metal structures overhead.

To which, Mr Speaker, I suspect most of us would say `Hear, hear!' I urge the government to reconsider the open slather that it now gives to these telecommunication companies and follow the lead of the Western Australian government in urging the placing of all future cables underground.