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Tuesday, 19 November 1974
Page: 2471


Senator DEVITT (TASMANIA) -I ask a question of the Postmaster-General. The Minister will be aware of the departmental policy requiring all future installations of ships' radios to be of the single side band type. I ask: Is he aware that the single side band radio is twice the cost of the type of radio currently in use, in other words, about $1,200 as compared with $500 or $600? Is he also aware that there is no need whatsoever to require single side band sets to be installed in those vessels commonly referred to as small ships, that is, yachts, pleasure craft and vessels of that kind? In view of the discouragement to install radios because of the very great cost involved in single side band sets, does the Minister appreciate the reduction in the safety aspect of small ship usage? Will he seek a review of the situation?


Senator BISHOP -The decision by the Post Office to require the installation of this so-called new equipment is the result of an international agreement. The countries operating in the area have decided to require the installation of this new equipment because it is more selective and it reduces the amount of interference in the frequencies which are necessary for emergency operations. I understand that the new equipment is much more expensive. The purpose of requiring the installation of this equipment is to ensure a greater amount of safety with less interference in the frequencies which are used. As to whether it may be possible to exclude some very small craft from this requirement, I shall have the proposition examined and I will let the honourable senator know the result of my investigations.







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