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Friday, 5 June 1970

Mr HULME - Mr Speaker, I am not in a position to indicate when colour television will be introduced in Australia. I have indicated to the House on several occasions that surveys were being made by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board in an endeavour to seek from industry what was necessary in relation to standards and technical requirements, and what is regarded as the time factor between the announcement and the actual date of introduction. When this information is made available to me I will bring it under the notice of the Government and a decision may at that point of time be taken. I have a responsibility in regard to radio and television; I have not a responsibility in regard to roads and beaches and the other things to which the honourable member referred.

When Stage 7 of television is introduced 97.9% of Australians will have services available to them. That means that 2.1% of Australian people will not have the facility of television. Having regard to the fact that 54% of the Australian population is in 6 capital cities and having regard to the sparsity of population in the remaining area of Australia, I believe this will be a magnificent achievement. I understand that even in the United Kingdom - a much smaller area with a much larger population - a comparable percentage of people do not have television available to them. I have indicated previously my desire that the country people of Australia should have good facilities - as far as we can possibly make them available - particularly in regard to radio and television. This is my aim and it is the Government's aim. I shall continue to seek the co-operation of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board in bringing about this condition.

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