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Statement by Mr Ian Cameron, acting Shadow Minister for Primary Industry

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The Acting Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Mr Ian Cameron, says yesterday's successful launching of the first AUSSAT satellite is a major step towards over-coming many of the. disadvantages of living and working in remote areas of Australia.

Mr Cameron said today primary producers would be among the main beneficiaries of the AUSSAT project, which had been initiated by the Liberal/National Party Government in the late 1970's.

It was important that the final cost to the end-user be minimised, and there was a strong case for reduction or removal of the 3 2% pc sales tax on the indoor unit and the 20 percent sales tax on the antennae and outdoor unit, Mr Cameron said.

"Although most interest surrounds the capacity of AUSSAT to provide television services to the outback, we are also on the threshold of a new era in business communications."

"With the necessary ground facilities, the.satellites will have a capacity to transmit voice, video or facsimile information, and this could give primary producers vastly improved access to their business agencies in nearby townships or major cities."

"This new facility coincides with the introduction of other new technology to primary industries, such as the video livestock auction."

"In short, outback farmers and graziers are entering a communications revolution which will help to raise their standards of living and the efficiency of their enterprises," Mr Cameron said.

29 August 1985