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Thursday, 7 May 1970

Mr HULME - As I have indicated to the House on a number of occasions, the Government regards as its first responsibility the provision of broadcasting and television facilities for all the people in this country.

At the present time there are quite a number of areas in Australia which do not have a proper reception either of broadcasting or television. Many of these are outback areas of the larger States. The introduction of frequency modulation broadcasting would of course be an expensive operation. There is no doubt that with this system there is high fidelity of sound, avoidance of static and so on, and that there are a large number of channels available in the ultra high frequency range. As to the economic aspects, from the point of view of cost to the producer, the cost of establishment of stations, the cost to the individual who would purchase a set and the number who would purchase a set. I cannot express a view. It has been indicated to me that there is considerable doubt about the economics, and that has been the experience in other countries. The situation would be more doubtful here in Australia.

Mr Hayden - Why do' American cities the size of Sydney have up to a dozen or more frequency modulation broadcasting stations if that is true?

Mr HULME - I thought I was answering the question. That is what I propose to do.

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