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Thursday, 9 December 1965

Mr Collard (KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) d asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice - 1, What would be the approximate cost of establishing a package television station at (a) Kalgoorlie and (b) Geraldton of sufficient power to provide a satisfactory service within a radius of (i) 10 miles, (ii) 15 miles, (iii) 20 miles, (iv) 25 miles, (v) 40 miles and (vi) 60 miles?

2.   Is there a cheaper method by which a satisfactory service could be made available to these districts; if so, what is it, and what would be the approximate costs to cover each of the distances referred to?

Mr Hulme - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows -

1.   It is taken that by a "package station" the honorable member refers to a station of relatively low power equipment to transmit mainly film programmes and local items of a simple type and of short duration. The costs of establishing stations of this type depend upon a number of factors such as the availability of land in a suitable location, the cost of such land, the cost of buildings and amenities, -and the extent of the programme facilities provided. Although it would be normal practice to locate such low powered stations near a concentrated centre of population costs could vary over a relatively wide range but on the basis of the provision of minimum facilities and assuming that the work of establishment was quite straightforward it is estimated that a station serving an area of radius 11 to 14 miles would cost approximately £56,000 and one to cover an area of radius 20 to 30 miles approximately £62,000. The annual operating costs in each case would be of the order of £30,000 to £40,000, again depending upon the nature of service provided. To cover larger areas it would be necessary to use a high power station, possibly remote from a populated centre and costs of access and provision of power could become major factors. In the absence of detailed knowledge of possible site and power availability it may be misleading .to attempt to estimate costs.

2.   No, but normal developments in the design of equipment may be expected to bring about reduction of costs from time to time.

Department of the Treasury: Taxation Branch. (Question No. 1481.)

Mr Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) n asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   How many persons were employed in the Taxation Branch of his Department as at 30th June 1963, 1964 and 1965?

2.   How many of these persons were concerned in dealing with superannuation funds at the same dates?

Mr Harold Holt - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows -

1.   The number of persons employed in tha Taxation Branch as at 30th June 1963, 1964 and 1965 was 8,209; 8,453 and 8,827 respectively. These figures include permanent and temporary male and female staff employed as at 30th June each year, but exclude part-time staff, such as cleaners, etc.

2.   Various assessors in the course of their normal assessing duties are concerned in dealing with the technical aspects of superannuation funds and it is calculated that the time devoted to superannuation fund work would equate the full time of approximately 35, 39 and 45 technical officers as at 30th June 1963, 1964 and 1965 respectively. The time of typists, clerical assistants, etc., has not been taken into account.

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