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Wednesday, 28 March 2007
Page: 13

Mr BILLSON (Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence) (9:46 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Radio Licence Fees Amendment Bill 2007 complements the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Digital Radio) Bill 2007, which implements the government’s policy framework for the introduction of digital radio services in Australia.

The digital radio bill will allow incumbent commercial radio broadcasting licensees to provide their existing analog services, together with one or more digital radio services, using their existing licences. Any new digital commercial radio licensees in the future will also be able to provide multiple digital services.

Taken together with the digital radio bill, the Radio Licence Fees Amendment Bill would amend the Radio Licence Fees Act 1964 to ensure that all revenue earned from analog and digital radio broadcasting services is counted for the purposes of calculating the radio broadcasting licence fee.

This is consistent with the licence fee arrangements for analog and digital broadcasting services and datacasting services provided by commercial television broadcasters. I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Dr Emerson) adjourned.