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Thursday, 4 June 1987
Page: 3947

Mr DUFFY (Minister for Communications)(10.02) —I move:

That the amendments be agreed to.

Briefly, agreement has been reached with both the honourable member for Deakin (Mr Beale), as the spokesman for the Liberal Party of Australia, and the honourable member for Gilmore (Mr Sharp), the spokesman for the National Party of Australia, that because these matters have been debated at considerable length, not only in this place but also in the Senate, there is no need for the matters to be debated again this morning. However, I did undertake--

Mr Macphee —Mr Deputy Chairman, on a point of order: I want to make it very clear that no such agreement has been made as far as I am concerned. I do not in any way feel bound by any arrangement made by three people--

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN (Mr Millar) —Order! There is no point or order.

Mr DUFFY —I note the concern of the honourable member for Goldstein, who has had many opportunities to put his points of view on these matters. I wish to take this opportunity to reiterate the Government's commitment to a remote commercial television service for the eastern States. The Government is disappointed that the two consortia which currently hold the licences in the south-east and north-east service areas have not been able at this stage to fulfil their commitment and sign a service contract with Aussat. However, I assure the Committee that it remains the Government's firm intention to ensure that an RCT service will be available to the people in all remote parts of Australia. There is nothing further that I wish to add on that matter other than to request that the amendments be agreed to.