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Tuesday, 12 November 1974
Page: 2208

Senator MILLINER (QUEENSLAND) - Will the Minister for the Media confirm that the introduction of the broadcasting system known as FM radio is soon to become a reality? Will he indicate the attitude of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board in expediting this development? In the light of this advance in broadcasting, will the Minister translate for the Senate a Press statement by Mr Ben Hills of the Melbourne 'Age' newspaper that the Government was considering scrapping the Minister's plans for the introduction of FM radio?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - It is true that Australian should get its first regular frequency modulation radio broadcast in a little over one month's time. The station of the Music Broadcasting Society of New South Wales is due to go to air at noon on 15 December. The station will be operated by that Society and it will be given the name 2MBS FM. The plans that are envisaged for this station are that it will broadcast music, and music only- I mention that especially for the benefit of my good friend, Senator Wriedt- for 8 hours a day from premises in the Sydney suburb of Artarmon. In regard to the speedy action which has been taken by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board to hasten this development, I express my unqualified support for the expression which appeared yesterday in, I think, the 'Sydney Morning Herald' by Professor Runcie who is connected with this cooperative station. He said that he was delighted with the swift action of the Board in allowing the station to get to air. In regard to the last part of the honourable senator's question, some of the reports about FM transmission and, indeed, other aspects of the area covered by my portfolio, seem to verge on science fiction. It was suggested in a Press report that the Australian Government was changing its mind about the introduction of FM. I repeat, that after 23 years of lethargy in this area FM is about to come into operation. It will be in Australia in one month's time.

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