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Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Page: 3411


Senator Ludlam asked the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, upon notice, on 27 April 2010:

Does the Government plan to commence a technical trial of audio description on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) before the digital switchover, as stated in the discussion report Access to electronic media for the hearing and vision impaired: Approaches for consideration, dated 2009; if so: (a) has any funding been allocated to the ABC to undertake such a trial; and (b) what will be the consultation process with stakeholders, including blind and vision impaired people across Australia.


Senator Conroy (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

The Media Access Review Discussion Report released in November 2009 outlined a range of possible approaches to increase access to electronic media for the vision and hearing impaired, including a possible technical trial of audio description for television services by the ABC before digital switchover is completed.

The approaches being considered by Government aim to ensure that meaningful improvements to levels of media access for the hearing and vision impaired can be achieved in a way that is practical for broadcasters and content producers.

Stakeholder views on these approaches were called for by 29 January 2010 with 54 being received. The Government will consider these submissions and finalise a report for tabling in Parliament in 2010.