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BROADCASTING SERVICES AMENDMENT (DIGITAL TELEVISION AND DATACASTING) BILL 2000

The order of the day having been read for the resumption of the debate on the question—That the Bill be now read a second time—And on the amendment moved thereto by Mr Smith, viz.—That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

"whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House:

(1) condemns the Government for the inordinate amount of time it has taken to introduce the bill, and the unacceptably short time now available for parliamentary consideration of the measure;

(2) regards the narrow approach taken to the definition of datacasting as much too restrictive and certain to risk stifling a new industry before it emerges;

(3) deplores the Government's failure to enhance the future potential in this area, as evidenced by its datacasting proposals;

(4) calls on the Government to allow the national public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS, to multichannel;

(5) believes that the restrictions on datacasting and the prohibition on the ABC and SBS from multichannelling will have particularly adverse consequences for rural and regional Australia;

(6) believes that the enhanced services provisions in the bill go further than previously anticipated and will require careful scrutiny; and

(7) believes that there will need to be careful, appropriately timed and statutorily based scrutiny through the review provisions proposed in the bill"—

Debate resumed.

Amendment negatived.

Question—That the Bill be now read a second time—put and passed—Bill read a second time.

Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith.

On the motion of Mr McGauran (Minister representing the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts), the Bill was read a third time.