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Wednesday, 25 November 1959

Mr Galvin (KINGSTON, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) n asked the Postmaster-General, upon notice -

1.   What is the reason for the long delay in the commencement of the operation of the Australian Broadcasting Commission's television station ABS2?

2.   When did planning for the construction of the station begin, and when will regular programmes commence?

3.   Will ABS2 be equipped with (a) a videotape recorder, (b) an automatic film processor and (c) a crane camera?

4.   Is this range of equipment installed at the Commission's stations in Melbourne and Sydney and also at the two commercial television stations in Adelaide?

5.   Will ABS2 have only one studio, and will this equal in size only some of the rehearsal rooms at ABV2?

6.   If so, does this indicate that few live shows will be produced?

7.   Have sufficient funds been made available to provide ABS2 with offices, studio, equipment and other facilities to enable it to compete with its two commercial competitors?

8.   Will he ensure that ABS2 is not to be treated as the Cinderella station to the Commission's television stations in Sydney and Melbourne?

Mr Davidson - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   The commencement of the ABS2 service has not been delayed. It was planned to begin in February-March, 1960, and deliveries of equipment were geared to this date.

2.   The Australian Broadcasting Commission is responsible for equipping the studio centre and providing the programmes for ABS2 and the Postmaster-General's Department for providing the transmitter. The studio and transmitter buildings were constructed by the Department of Works. Tenders for the equipment for which the Australian Broadcasting Commission is responsible closed on 20th March, 1958. It is expected that the regular programme service will begin not later than mid-March, 1960. 3 (a), (b) and (c). No.

4.   The Australian Broadcasting Commission has at present no videotape recording equipment at any of its television centres. Tt has one camera crane each in Sydney and Melbourne and equipment for processing telerecordings in both these centres, but this equipment is not used for processing cinecamera films, as it is fully occupied with telerecordings. The Australian Broadcasting Commission is not in a position to provide information about the equipment owned by the Adelaide commercial television stations.

5.   ABS2 will have one studio which will be larger than one of the studios in regular use in Melbourne and Sydney.

6.   Live news bulletins as well as other local programmes will be produced regularly in the Adelaide studio. ABS2 will also have - as in Sydney and Melbourne - a single OB unit for the coverage of sporting and other events outside tha studio.

7.   Yes.

8.   The service provided by ABS2 will contain the best of the programmes available to the Australian Broadcasting Commission. The honorable member can be assured that viewers of ABS2 will have a programme service of the same standard as that available from the national TV stations in Sydney and Melbourne, with a suitable proportion of Australian, including South Australian, material.

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