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Friday, 2 March 1984
Page: 328

Senator ELSTOB —Does the Minister representing the Minister for Communications know when the Homestead and Community Broadcasting Satellite Services will become fully operational? How many of those people living in outback communities throughout the Commonwealth will benefit from the services? Will the people in each of those outback communities be able to view television and receive radio broadcasts from and within each of their own State's television and radio facilities?

Senator BUTTON —If the satellite has better fortune than the recent Indonesian satellite, it will be up in September 1985 and will be operational in December 1985. It is said that 300,000 people will potentially benefit from the services provided by the satellite. In Western Australia and Queensland, I believe, everybody will be able to get benefit from the satellite in terms of television and radio services provided, in the case of Western Australia, essentially from Perth. In Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania, services will be provided via the satellite, originating in Sydney. I understand that the radio and television services in the Northern Territory will be provided from Darwin. The up-link to the satellite will come through Darwin and will be able to provide services to much larger areas of the Northern Territory than are currently eligible for service. In South Australia, which is the honourable senator's home State, I understand arangements are being made to investigate the use of 12-watt transponder to ensure a local South Australian-originated television service to South Australia. On the other hand the position of radio in South Australia is not yet clear. Investigations are taking place as to how a State-originated radio service will be provided. There is no conclusion in this respect at present.

If the satellite goes up successfully it will provide a much wider range of services. In addition to television and radio media services, it will provide services both in the capitals and the outback to business and other concerns which require data transmission and things of that kind.