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Tuesday, 1 November 1983
Page: 2153

Question No. 374

Mr Goodluck asked the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 24 August 1983:

(1) Is the wireless station at the lighthouse on Deal Island, in the Kent Group , Tasmania, using a callsign indicating it to be a Victorian Station, that is, a callsign from the '3' (Victorian) group, instead of the '7' group allotted for Tasmania; if so, why.

(2) Did his Department issue a callsign to Deal Island lighthouse wireless station which implies to the world in general that Deal Island is part of Victoria; if so, why.

(3) Will he end this apparent affront to Tasmanian sovereignty over Deal Island .

Mr Duffy —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) and (2) Yes. This licence was first issued on 1 September 1926 to the then Department of Commerce as part of that Department's Victorian lighthouse network with the callsign VJM, licence number 11.

In 1940, the callsign was changed to VL3GS. In 1943, the licence was transferred to the Department of Supply and Shipping. Responsibility for the licence subsequently passed to the Departments of Defence (1944), Shipping and Fuel (1950) and Shipping and Transport (1954).

In 1954, the Postmaster-General's Department raised with the Department of Shipping and Transport the question of the '3' callsign allocation. That Department requested that the callsign remain in the Victorian series as Deal Island is located between Flinders Island and the Victorian coastline.

In 1978, the station at Deal Island became the responsibility of the Department of Transport. This Department, as with its predecessors, had no Tasmanian Office and therefore, relied on its Central Office or Victorian/Tasmanian Regional Office for the conduct of business in that State. Consequently, the Department of Transport, Victorian/Tasmanian Regional Office, continued to renew this licence through the Victorian Office of the Department of Communications.

(3) Immediately I was made aware of this situation, I requested my Department to arrange for this station to come under the responsibility of the Tasmanian Office of my Department and for it to be allocated the callsign VL7DI.