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Broadcasting Services Amendment Bill (No.2) 1999

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Bills Digest No. 23  1999?2000


Broadcasting Services Amendment Bill (No.2) 1999


This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official leg al status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.



Passage History

Broadcasting Services Amendment Bill (No.2) 1999

Date Introduced: 30 June 1999

House:   House of Representatives

Portfolio:   Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

Commencement:   Royal Assent


To exempt until the end of 2001 commercial broadcasters from the Australian Broadcasting Authority's (ABA) cha rges associated with the conversion of television from analog to digital transmission.


The Bill complements the Television Licence Fees Amendment Bill 1999. That Bill provides for an additional licence fee for commercial television broadcasters to recover the ABA's costs with regard to the conversion of television transmission from analog to digital mode.(1) This additional licence fee will be paid in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

Clause 61 of Schedule 4 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 enables the ABA to charge the commercial and national broadcasters for expenses incurred under the digital conversion schemes for both sectors. The Government has decided that commercial television licensees should not be required to pay these charges as they will be paying additional licence fees for the same purpose.

The national broadcasters (the ABC and SBS) will continue to be charged for expenses incurred by the ABA in respect of the national conversion scheme because they do not pay licence fees.

Main Provisions

Item 1 of Schedule 1 adds a new sub-clause 61(4) to Schedule 4 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 which prohibits the ABA from making a determination under paragraph 61(1)(a) in relation to the commercial television conversion scheme during the period between the commencement of the legislation and the 31 December 2001.


1. Readers should consult Bills Digest No. 22 of 1999-2000 Television Licence Fees Amendment Bill 1999 for a more detailed background to this issue.


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Kim Jackso n

9 August 1999

Bills Digest Service

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