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Monday, 20 August 2001
Page: 29696


Mr McARTHUR (1:50 PM) —The federal government is acting to improve services in regional areas. The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Alston, recently displayed his commitment by accepting my invitation to visit the heartland of the electorate of Corangamite. Whilst in Western Victoria, he consulted with local residents in an open community forum about communications issues. We are seeing some results of this discussion.

The federal government's television black spot fund has now been agreed to to fund better television reception for Anglesea and Aireys Inlet, towns that are situated along that great Australian icon the Great Ocean Road. The Surf Coast Shire is now expected to develop a fully costed budget to establish new transmission sites. Once this budget is in, the size of the grant will be decided. The shire has been very active in seeking to improve local people's TV reception. I am delighted to have been able to keep the focus on that application within the government.

The black spot funding offer is to be financed from funds obtained under the partial sale of the federal government's stake in Telstra. Tourism potential in the district will be improved by better reception in the accommodation facilities. The people of Anglesea and Aireys Inlet have been labouring under very difficult television reception and television reception is set to improve for these local people. The move to improve local television coverage shows that the federal government is getting results for people in regional Australia.