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Thursday, 13 August 2009
Page: 4970

Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, upon notice, on 26 June 2009:

With reference to paragraph 65 of the current Australian Labor Party National Platform regarding community and Indigenous broadcasting, what steps is the Government taking to ensure that the National Indigenous television service, which is currently available on channel 40 in digital terrestrial form to 800 000 homes with digital terrestrial reception facilities in Sydney, will remain available even if the current trial run by Broadcast Australia (under which the service is made available) ceases?

Senator Wong (Minister for Climate Change and Water) —The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

The Government funds the National Indigenous Television Service (NITV) to acquire, commission and produce Indigenous television content. It is up to NITV to negotiate access arrangements for this content in a commercial environment.

Funding of $48.5m was provided to NITV over four years to 30 June 2010. The NITV pilot is to be reviewed during 2009. The extent to which NITV provided access to metropolitan viewers will be examined as part of that review, as will any decisions relating to the future operation and distribution of the NITV service.