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Thursday, 10 December 1998
Page: 1912

Mr McGAURAN (Arts and the Centenary of Federation) (6:23 PM) —I move:

That the bill be now read a second time.

The National Transmission Network Sale (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1998 supplements the just passed National Transmission Network Sale Bill 1998 in putting in place arrangements to effect the government's decision to sell the National Transmission Network.

This bill amends the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983 and Special Broadcasting Service Act 1991 to make it clear that both the ABC and SBS have the power to produce, transmit and arrange for the transmission of programs. Both organisations will be required to provide details in their annual reports of significant changes in transmission coverage of national broadcasting services.

Where a substantial problem appears to exist in relation to changed transmission coverage of a community, the minister will have the power to direct the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) to conduct an investigation into the matter.

Minor amendments to the Radiocommunications Act 1992 will facilitate ABC and SBS control of the Radiocommunications spectrum used to broadcast their services.

This bill will have no financial impact. I commend the bill to the House. I present a signed explanatory memorandum to the bill in relation to the National Transmission Sale Bill earlier on.