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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 4253

Senator STEPHENS (Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and Parliamentary Secretary for the Voluntary Sector) (10:36 AM) —I thank senators for their contributions to this important piece of legislation, the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Digital Television) Bill 2010. I place on the record the issues raised by Senator Ludlam. I note those concerns and his understanding of the issue relating to the amendment he sought is correct. I am pleased to offer the government’s assurance that we will continue to monitor provisions for access to the platform by community and narrow-cast broadcasters, and we specifically confirm the four points he raised in his contribution.

This bill introduces a legislative framework for the implementation of the new satellite service to bring digital television to all Australians who cannot adequately receive terrestrial digital television services. The government are committed to improving the choice and quality of digital television services for viewers in regional and remote Australia as we move towards digital switchover. For the first time, the bill and its amendments will provide broadcasters with the opportunity to deliver, over time, the full suite of free-to-air digital television services to every viewer in Australia, wherever they live. I commend the bill to the Senate.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.