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Friday, 16 August 1974
Page: 1056

Senator MCAULIFFE (QUEENSLAND) - Has the Minister for the Media seen reports that some television stations have arranged a whole series of special outside broadcasts in colour beginning from 19 October next? If these reports are correct, do they mean that stations would be in a position to broadcast continuous colour transmissions before the official date for the introduction of colour television? Would this involve a risk that some viewers might buy colour television sets which tune effectively to colour transmissions from one station but which may not tune to another station?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I have seen reports to the effect that some television stations appear to be organising quite extensive outside broadcasts in colour as from 19 October next, and this has been a subject of some concern. The honourable senator raises the important point which is frequently misunderstood, namely, that the setting of a firm date for the full introduction of colour television has been intended as a means of ensuring that viewers are not placed in a situation in which they find that their sets tune quite well to one or other of the stations which happens to be transmitting in colour at the time but cannot be tested on the other channels at that particular time. As from 1 March of next year, all stations in the metropolitan areas should be transmitting in colour. From that date viewers will be able to test colour reception on all channels in their homes, and that really is the point at which the test should take place.

I urge all prospective buyers of colour television sets first to obtain a copy of the colour television buyers guide booklet which is being published by the Department of Science and the Australian Broadcasting Control Board and which should be available from Australian Government bookshops as from next week. Meanwhile, I have discussed the matter of test transmissions in colour with the Broadcasting Control Board, and the Board has informed me that stations have now been advised that prior approval for test transmissions from outside broadcast units must be obtained by the stations from the Board.

Continuous and extensive tests are not likely to be approved.

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