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Thursday, 11 November 1976
Page: 2593

Mr WILSON (STURT, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -The Minister for Post and Telecommunications will recall that in August he undertook to have the problems facing those in the foothill suburbs of metropolitan Adelaide now dependent on cable television resolved as a matter of urgency. What is to be done to provide continuous reception for these viewers? Will a UHF translator be installed? If so, when? In the meantime, will the commitment of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board to provide funds to enable cable viewing to continue to operate on a non-profit, no loss basis be honoured? Is the Board bound by the commitments of its officers? Is it in the habit of welshing on its obligations? What action will be taken against officers who purport to make commitments on behalf of the Board in circumstances which do not bind the Board?

Mr Eric Robinson (MCPHERSON, QUEENSLAND) -I am well aware of the problems in the foothills of Adelaide. Indeed, the honourable member for Sturt has raised this matter with me on a number of occasions. I have been over there and discussed this matter in Adelaide. I repeat once again that this problem will have to be resolved satisfactorily before the end of this year. A decision on the UHF translator has been made but regrettably its operation probably will be a year to 18 months away. Obviously, some solution has to be found in the short term whilst we are awaiting that translator. I want to say this to the honourable member for Sturt: I will not comment publicly upon his obvious criticism of an officer of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board. The Board cannot promise funds. The Board does not have funds to expend on this matter. I will have to content myself by saying to the honourable member for Sturt that he is aware I know of the details of the discussions and conversations. He is aware I have indicated that I believe this is a matter that has to be resolved. I am looking for a short term solution which will get us over the immediate problem.

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