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Company to operate satellite system incorporated

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FOR MEDIA: 8 1 / 4 7



The company to own and operate Australia's National Communications Satellite System, AUSSAT Pty Ltd, was incorporated in Canberra today.

The Minister for Communications, Mr Ian Sinclair, who is in Port Moresby for talks on possible use of the satellite system by Papua New Guinea, said today that the first two directors of AUSSAT Pty Ltd were Mr E.S. Owens and Mr R . B . Lansdown.

The names of the other nine directors would be announced shortly.

Mr Sinclair announced in Parliament recently that Mr Owens, who is the director of more than fifteen companies, would be the Chairman of AUSSAT Pty Ltd.

Mr Lansdown is the permanent head of the Department of Communic­ ations. . ·

Mr Sinclair- said the authorised share capital of AUSSAT Pty Ltd \ : ■ would be $100 million divided into 100 million shares of $1 each.

Tenders for the system were presently being evaluated by the Overseas Telecommunications Commission (Australia) and other authorities and departments. It was proposed to launch the first satellite in mid 1985.

The establishment of AUSSAT within this time frame would involve a direct contribution by the Board in the tender evaluation process

The Minister said that although the company was 100% Commonwealth owned, the Government intended that it would convert to a publicly listed company in which a minimum of 51% of the shares would be hel by the Commonwealth.

Mr Sinclair said it was the Government's policy that the private sector would be closely involved in the management of the company and for this reason most of the directors would be from private enterprise.

The Minister said: "The project is a substantial one. It will dramatically change.the telecommunications and broadcasting environment in Australia by the provision of advanced technology and facilities, as well as services currently unavailable by

terrestrial means. The success of the company in promoting the use of additional facilities and services by the satellite communi­ cations system will obviously be crucial to AUSSAT!S operation, particularly in the lead-up stages when planning of the business

strategy will need good judgement and entrepreneurial' flair." Canberra 6 November 1981. '