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Thursday, 22 September 1983
Page: 1147

Mr DUFFY (Minister for Communications)(10.58) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

This Bill is a companion measure to the Radiocommunications Bill 1983. It provides for certain transitional arrangements and for consequential amendments to a number of other Acts, to bring the general scheme of the Radiocommunications Bill 1983 into operation. In particular, clause 5 of the Bill provides that any licences issued under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1905 continue in force after the commencement of the Bill. Such licences cannot be renewed and new licences will have to be taken out under the provisions of the Radiocommunications Bill. The clause also provides that certificates issued under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1905 can be deemed to be certificates of proficiency under the Radiocommunications Bill.

Consequential amendments to other legislation are set out in the Schedule to this Bill. The most significant of these consequential amendments is the creation of a new section 6 in the Broadcasting and Television Act. This is an offence provision prohibiting unauthorised operation of a broadcasting or television station. Under the existing regime, unlicensed operation of a broadcasting or television station is an offence under the Wireless Telegraphy Act. The new offence provision is closely modelled on the equivalent offence of operating an unauthorised radiocommunications transmitter under clause 23 of the Radiocommunications Bill. The effect, therefore, is simply to create two parallel and specific offences where only one very wide offence exists at present. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr McVeigh) adjourned.