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Thursday, 27 May 2010
Page: 4520

Mr Baldwin asked the Minister representing the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, in writing, on 2 February 2010:

In respect of television transmitters in the Paterson electorate:

(a)   where is each one located;

(b)   what stations are transmitted by each one;

(c)   which ones are

(i)   digital, and

(ii)   analogue;

(d)   which ones in part (c)(ii) are directional, and omnidirectional; and

(e)   for each one in part (c)(ii), what stations will be upgraded to digital , when will they be upgraded, and at what cost.

Mr Albanese (Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government) —The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

(a)   There are nine television transmission sites in the Paterson electorate their site name and area served are described by the ACMA as:

  • Broadcast Site Coorei Hill serving the area of Dungog;
  • Broadcast Australia Site Kiaora Lookout serving the area of Gloucester;
  • Telstra Site Gan Gan Hill Near Nelson Bay serving the area of Port Stephens;
  • Broadcast Site Mt Douglas serving the area of Vacy;
  • Broadcast Site Booral serving the area of Booral;
  • Council Water Reservoir Elizabeth Beach serving the area of Elizabeth Beach;
  • Water Tower Likely Street Forster serving the area of Forster;
  • Telstra Site Macwood Rd Smiths Lake serving the area of Smiths Lake; and
  • Broadcast Site Stroud Reservoir King Street Stroud serving the area of Stroud.

(b)   Eight of the nine sites broadcast the national services of ABC and SBS as well as the commercial broadcasters of Prime, NBN and Southern Cross which is the equivalent content of Seven, Nine and Ten. The site serving Vacy transmits ABC and SBS services only.


(i)   The four sites serving Dungog, Gloucester, Port Stephens and Vacy are operated by broadcasters and are broadcasting in digital.

(ii)   The remaining five sites serving Booral, Elizabeth Beach, Forster, Smiths Lake and Stroud are analog only self-help facilities sites operated by the Great Lakes Council, they do not transmit digital TV.

(d)   Of the sites mentioned in question 3 part 2:

(i)   Booral and Elizabeth Beach are directional transmission sites.

(ii)   Forster, Smiths Lake and Stroud are omnidirectional transmission sites.

(e)   Of the sites mentioned in question 3 part 2 those serving Booral, Forster, Smiths Lake and Stroud have been identified by broadcasters as candidate sites for digital conversion. While the Government has strongly encouraged broadcasters to take every possible step to ensure that the site can be converted in a timely fashion, the final decision about whether and how to convert the sites is a matter for negotiation between the current licence holder, the Great Lakes Council, and the broadcasters. The cost of upgrading these four sites to digital is a matter for negotiation between the Council (as self-help licensee) and broadcasters. In general the offer being made by broadcasters relates to the provision and maintenance of transmission equipment. Broadcasters have advised that the local community or self-help licensee would be expected to continue to meet the basic costs of running the site as well as maintaining the facility in a suitable physical state for broadcasting.