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Thursday, 15 September 1983
Page: 959

Question No. 320

Mr Jacobi asked the Minister for Science and Technology, upon notice, on 23 August 1983:

(1) Will the Government upgrade onground facilities to receive high resolution Thematic Mapper data from Landsat 4; if so, when.

Mr Barry Jones —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Government has fully funded the Australian Landsat Station to process the data available from the current generation of satellites at the present level. At the same time it is concerned at the level of recovery of operating costs and has directed that my Department, in conjunction with the Department of Finance, develop a plan for progressively increasing the level of cost recovery.

The Government fully recognises the benefits that can be obtained from the high resolution Thematic Mapper data but, in view of some present uncertainties as to the performance and reliability of the present satellites and the extremely difficult budgetary constraints it was unable to fund it this year.

The Government will reconsider the upgrade when economic conditions improve.