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March 31 1989 start-up targeted for television aggregation in Southern NSW



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Minister for Transport and Communications Senator Gareth Evans Q.C. COMMONWEALTH parliam entary library

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25 August 1988

94/88

MARCH 31 1989 START-OP TARGETED FOR TELEVISION AGGREGATION

IN SOUTHERN NSW

I have taken steps to secure a 31 March 1989 start-up date for

regional television aggregation in Approved Market C, to provide

television viewers in Southern NSW with commercial television

services comparable to those of the mainland capital cities.

The aggregation process, when complete, will mean that viewers in

the Canberra, Wollongong and Orange/Dubbo/Wagga areas, who

presently receive only one commercial channel, will have access

to three channels - affiliated to the 10, 9 and 7 networks

respectively.

In order to achieve this objective, following a long process of

consultation over recent months, I rejected on 17 August the

aggregation implementation plans originally submitted to me last

December by the three relevant licensees - CTC Canberra, WIN

Wollongong and CBN/CWN Orange/Dubbo - because these did not

provide for the earliest physically possible start-up.

WIN and CBN/CWN have, however, submitted new implementation plans

providing for a 31 March 1989 commencement, which I have now

approved. I have not yefc received a new implementation plan from

CTC.

My approval of the WIN and CBN/CWN plans means that, subject to

final authorisation of transmitter commencement by the Australian

Broadcasting Tribunal, from 31 March next years

- viewers in the present CTC service area (Canberra and

surrounds) will have access to all three commercial channels;

and

- viewers in the present WIN service area (Wollongong and

surrounds) will have access to WIN (9 Network) and CBN/CWN (7

Network) channe1s .

For viewers in the area presently served by CBN/CWN/RVN

(Orange/Dubbo/Wagga and surrounds), it is unlikely that the new

services will be available before December 1989, because it is

not feasible for the necessary work to be completed to the

Commonwealth's shared transmission facilities in the area before

that time.

I can understand that CTC's preference may well still be for the

commencement of aggregation to be delayed until December next

year, because of the commercial implications for it of the

Opposition's irrational decision to prevent any change to the 60

per cent television audience reach limit.

Nonetheless, I hope CTC will respond to the obvious public demand

that three commercial channels be made available to all viewers

in Southern NSW as soon as physically possible.

Attached is a map outlining Approved Market C - Southern New

South Wales

* * * *

CANBERRA

For further information:

Ministerial - John Stanton (062) 77 7200

Department - Dennis McLennan (062) 64 4518

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NEW SOUTH WALES Approved Market C