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Thursday, 27 May 1993
Page: 1448

Senator SHERRY (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy) (11.39 a.m.) —I am advised that the reason for the delay over the last year is that the NTA has only just been established as an organisation. The NTA previously had Telecom do the work for it. There was no process of competitive tendering. The reason for the delay is that the NTA has been established only in the last year and has now moved to the competitive tendering process. A lot more time has been involved in setting up that process rather than simply relying on Telecom to do the job.

Senator Ferguson —I ask the Parliamentary Secretary why the ABC was not made aware of how this saving of $11 million would impact on the transmission of its programs.

Senator SHERRY —I am advised that the ABC has been aware of the ongoing problems in the construction of these facilities. I am advised that there is a meeting today in order to discuss these matters. When the honourable senator refers to problems with broadcasting, I would have to say, firstly, that I am certainly not aware of any problems in the southern area of Tasmania. From first-hand knowledge I am certainly not aware that there have been any problems in that State as a result of this delay. We are not aware that there have been any problems with broadcasting in Sydney, either, as a result of the delays.