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Thursday, 22 August 1985
Page: 213

Senator MESSNER(8.14) —I move:

That the Senate take note of the paper.

My interest and that of all the Liberal senators from South Australia, of course, is in the provision, through the forthcoming satellite development, of commercial television services in the remoter parts of South Australia and in particular the Eyre Peninsula area, which has been an area of great contention with both this Government and former governments over the last 10 to 15 years. I have not had time to review this report to see what it says about the institution of commercial television on Eyre Peninsula. But all indications lead us to believe that this will not be easily obtainable by the people on the Eyre Peninsula of South Australia, except through a lot of personal expense. Indeed, it seems as though in the main the residents of Eyre Peninsula will not get anything better than an Australian Broadcasting Corporation broadcast via the satellite communication when it comes into place. That is little more than they have available at present. It might seem somewhat strange to Senator Tate from Tasmania to learn that the residents of Eyre Peninsula in such out of the way places as Streaky Bay and Ceduna in fact watch Newcastle ABC television. That makes it very difficult to relate to one's State's activities. One gets a totally wrong idea about the nature of football as a result of watching such programs.

This is a very important problem for a vast sector of South Australia. This is a part of the State which is rich in minerals and resource development potential and deserves a very great deal of consideration. As I have said, I am not certain what this report has in store for us in relation to commercial television. I hope that the Government will have all its antennae out to try to make sure that, to the ultimate degree possible, it gives the people of Eyre Peninsula in South Australia-the electors chiefly of the seat of Grey, a marginal Labor seat-the opportunity of viewing commercial television through the forthcoming satellite facilities.