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New pay TV proposal a set-up - Powell



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MEDIA RELEASE

SENATOR JANET POWELL AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS SENATOR FOR VICTORIA

P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A · THE SENATE

PR NO. 99/308 CANBERRA 3 JUNE, 1992

NEW PAY TV PROPOSAL A SET-UP - POWELL

"Prime Minister Keating's spectacular turnaround on pay tv is a set-up - not the final word", said Senator Janet Powell, Australian Democrats' Spokesperson for Communications.

"Opponents of commercial operators' involvement in the pay tv operation should not heave a sigh of relief. The ban on free-to-air licencees has been accompanied by reduction of the period of exclusivity to only one year, and the fifth and sixth transponders have been opened up."

"The choices of the 35% foreign ownership limit surviving are very slim."

"The Prime Minister is way out of touch if he believes there is an Australian bidder who will put up 65% equity in what must be the riskiest venture since the Titanic set sail."

"Only large foreign bidders could possibly be expected to be able to face the risk - if anyone is prepared to."

"Given the massive pay-out to Optus for the purchase of Aussat which the Government will be responsible for if the licence is not sold, Mr Keating will have a strong argument for removing the 35% hurdle when bidders desert Canberra in droves."

"The end result will be - pay tv in foreign hands and the fifth and sixth transponders in the hands of current media players."

"Mr Keating's claims of increased diversity are a sham", Senator Powell concluded.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

SENATOR JANET POWELL 06-277 3750 06-239 0333 AH