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Wednesday, 23 September 1936

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) . - I am not permitted to discuss such matters as a reduction or an increase of' broadcast listeners' licence-fees under thi6 measure; but, in answer to the honorable senator, I point out that this vote and' similar ones to which the committee has already agreed, are for works, the provision of which is the obligation of the Postal Department. For instance, technical services rendered to the Australian Broadcasting Commission have, under the act, to be provided by the Post Office.

Senator Badman - Is not a charge made for telephones and similar services?

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I refer now to highly technical work which only the skilled staffs of the Post Office, and probably organizations such as Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited and Standard Telephones and Cables (Australia) Limited Gould render: Under the arrangements which have been' entered into, such services are the obligation of the Post Office. The department supplies the technical services, but for the use of telephone wires, &c, for broadcasting the commission must remunerate the department.

Senator Badman - Is not the commission asked to pay for the construction of buildings and to carry out renovations ?

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The provision of studios is the responsibility of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. I emphasize that the item under discussion refers to technicalengineering, services which are rendered by the department. The construction of studios for the broadcasting ofprogrammes is the obligation of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. The honorable senator has probably noticed in the last report and balance-sheet of the commission that, sums of money are being conserved for the purposes of? constructing up-to-date studiosat Perth, Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney. What proposals have Been formulated in regard' to the fair city of Adelaide, I have- not heard. I understand that the accommodation in is quite satisfactory and according to reports there is no difficulty in this respect in Adelaide. At present the Australian Broadcasting Commission has representatives overseas inquiring into these matters which are most important-, not only to the commission itself, but also to those who listen to the entertainment" from A class stations. We have constructed a good" many A class stations in the year just ended. New regionat stations were installed at Grafton (New South Wales),. Sale (Victoria), andKelso (Tasmania). When honorable senators, inspect these stations and see the class of work that has Been done they will realize that it was no mean feat to complete the work last year. At one station a mast 620 feet high, surmounted by a plateau 60 feetin diameter, was erected. Imagine the difficulty of securely cabling that to the earth! The work has been done, and it has been done well. We hope to open another regional' station at Townsville in Queensland. I wish to direct the attention of Senator Cooper to the intention to install regional stations at Cumnock (New South Wales), and at Broken Hill. It has been decided after scientific examination of the conditions that the Broken Hill station will render good service to western Queensland.

Senator COOPER - It is SOO miles away. .

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