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Wednesday, 22 June 1994
Page: 1879

Senator BOLKUS —Yesterday, Senator Reid asked me a question in respect of telecommunications towers and I promised to provide further information. I now seek leave to incorporate that information in Hansard.

Senator Reid —I would like Senator Bolkus to read the answer because I have not seen a copy of it and I would like the opportunity to know what is in it.

Senator BOLKUS —In respect of Senator Reid's question, I am advised by Minister Howe that:

1. The National Capital Planning Authority advises that its program for preparation and release of a draft telecommunications plan is dependent to some extent, on the receipt of technical information from the carriers. The intention is to prepare a draft plan over the next two months and for the plan to be made available for public consultation in September 1994.

2. The telecommunications plan will be tabled in Parliament after it has been approved by the Minister as an amendment to the National Capital Plan. Subject to the outcome of the public consultation process which will precede the Minister's approval, a draft plan is expected to be recommended to the Minister in November 1994.

3. Until a telecommunications plan is resolved, there is no basis on which carriers may proceed to construct further towers on hilltops. The carriers understand this position. It is not expected that Ministerial intervention will be necessary.