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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Page: 6395

Mr CHAMPION (9:42 AM) —I rise today to discuss TV reception, an issue of great importance to my constituents in the northern suburbs of Adelaide. Particularly in the suburbs of Craigmore and Blakeview this has been a very big issue for a very long time. I was always dimly aware of the issue, but it was only really when I started doorknocking in Craigmore that I realised what a great imposition it is on many of my constituents. The TV reception in this area is quite sporadic, and depends on where you are unlucky enough to live. Literally, you can go from one end of a street to the other and they can have completely different TV reception. That is really not acceptable in a metropolitan area of Adelaide. This is the 21st century and people expect to be able to get all the free-to-air television stations in the metropolitan area.

Unfortunately, because of Adelaide’s unique geographical design, areas along the Para escarpment, which stretches from Ingle Farm in the electorate of Makin to Craigmore and Blakeview in my electorate, have had very poor TV reception over the last decade or so. I think it is a bit of an indictment both of television stations and of previous governments that this problem has been allowed to continue. It really is not acceptable that people cannot see the Ashes or Wimbledon or that they cannot get Channel 7 or Channel 9. Sometimes they cannot get Channel 10, although that has better reception. They cannot get access to local news and their children often cannot get particular programs. Often they spend extraordinary amounts of money—I have met people who have spent $2,000 on boosters, aerials and the like—just to be able to get a service that the rest of us take for granted.

The previous member for Bonython, Martyn Evans, did manage to get better reception for ABC and SBS, and I look forward to getting better reception for 7, 9 and the other commercial stations. Broadcasting Australia has been conducting tests under a program funded by the previous budget, and we are hopeful that this budget has provided enough money to provide a solution. We are awaiting reports on the test transmissions and the field surveys. I would really like to see everybody come to the party—the local community, the broadcasters and the government—to provide a solution. This is so important to this suburb, to real estate prices and to the general amenity of Craigmore, which is a growing suburb of 14,000 people. They really deserve to get decent TV reception.