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Thursday, 1 December 1983
Page: 3092


Senator JESSOP(10.18) —I move:

That the Senate take note of the paper.

I point out how interested I have been in the development of the concept of Australia having its own satellite, particularly because of the value this will be to people living in the remote areas of Australia. I notice that it is planned to introduce earth stations to enable remote areas to receive television . Up to the time of the introduction of the satellite, that was not possible. At the moment we share a satellite system which is assisting quite a good deal. For example, areas in South Australia are now able to receive television services from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but these are restricted to news broadcasts from Sydney. Some people are very interested in some aspects of Sydney or New South Wales news and they do receive the major elements of national news, but they still miss out on the local element which is of great interest to the smaller communities of Australia. I know that Senator Kilgariff is very interested in the proposition. We hope that ultimately, when Aussat is in place-I understand it is due to be in place by about 1985-there will be an opportunity for commercial television to participate in a very substantial way so that not only will ABC television programs be able to be viewed in country areas but also the people in these areas will have the additional benefit of commercial services. I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.