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Tuesday, 28 June 1994
Page: 2192

(Question No. 1366)


Senator Kemp asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications and the Arts, upon notice, on 3 May 1994:

  What are the current plans for the location of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's pay-television headquarters.


Senator McMullan —The Minister for Communications and the Arts has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  The Government has agreed to allocate to a subsidiary of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) a two service satellite subscription television licence (Licence C). The services are to be operated on a commercial basis separate from ABC free-to-air services.

  The ABC has advised that current plans for the location of the Licence C subsidiary operation have followed from the establishment of the broadcast facilities for the A and B satellite subscription television licensees in Sydney. As it is envisaged that the Licence C signal will be uplinked from the same uplinking point as the other licensees' services, it is necessary for the site of distribution to be coordinated from Sydney. Furthermore, the central vision, text library and network management centre of the ABC is based in Sydney and the most efficient commercially appropriate solution for delivery of the new subscription television services requires co-siting with that resources infrastructure. Given the ABC Board's requirement as to financial and operational viability for the new subscription television services, the use of the Gore Hill headquarters site is the only solution available in the establishment of those services.

  The ABC has determined, in light of these factors, that Sydney-based management is likely to be the most efficient and effective arrangement for the subscription television subsidiary.

  The ABC has indicated that the Licence C services are expected to draw heavily on back catalogue programming already produced by the ABC in all of its production centres and that the News Channel will draw on journalistic resources across Australia with a firm focus on each capital city and the national Parliament.