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Tuesday, 23 August 1960

Mr DAVIDSON (DAWSON, QUEENSLAND) (Postmaster-General) - I know that although some viewers in the Newcastle area have been receiving a reasonably good signal from Sydney, that is not common throughout the district. The honorable member has asked whether, when television transmission is extended to Newcastle - as I hope it will be within a reasonably short time - the people in that area will receive an improved signal. The reply to that question is that they certainly will receive an improved signal because a station will be operating in Newcastle. The honorable member has asked whether it is proposed to erect a booster station to serve the Newcastle area. As I stated in the House last week, I have received from the Australian Broadcasting Control Board a report dealing with the extension of television into country areas. The contents of that report have not yet been discussed by Cabinet. Until that has been done, and until I can make a statement to the House T am not prepared to indicate how the service will be given.

The honorable member asked also about the channels that are likely to be used. That also is a matter upon which the Australian Broadcasting Control Board has been asked to report. 1 can assure the honorable member that in allocating channels for television services the board is guided by the principle of ensuring that there is as little interference as possible between one channel and another. Sydney channels will not be used in Newcastle. I think that deals with the latter part of the honorable member's question, but without any knowledge of the local area, I cannot reply in detail. However. I can say that all these aspects were taken into account by the board when it submitted its recommendations relating to the sites for various transmitters. Every effort has been made to ensure that as wide a coverage as possible will be given from the chosen sites.

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