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Wednesday, 16 November 1983
Page: 2782

Mr FRY —Is the Minister for Communications aware of the serious deficiencies in news services in the Australian Capital Territory by virtue of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation having no television coverage of local news events on the weekend? I understand that this is due to the lack of any camera and crew. Is the Minister concerned about the situation? Will he request the ABC to review its resources in the national capital so that the people of Canberra do not have to rely entirely on commercial television for local weekend news?

Mr DUFFY —I am aware that no local camera crews are rostered in Canberra on the weekend, and I share the honourable member's concern about the lack of television coverage in the region. However, as honourable members will appreciate, the deployment of resources is a matter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to determine. It has, of course, to utilise those resources so as to serve many pressing priorities. However, in respect of this matter I am advised that the ABC board is conscious of the need to ensure that an adequate news service is provided and is giving consideration to the requirements of the news department so that it can meet the needs of its audience. That, of course, includes areas such as Canberra where, at present, the inadequacy indicated by the honourable member unfortunately does exist.