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Thursday, 18 May 1972
Page: 1883

Senator WRIEDT asked the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, upon notice:

Did the Postmaster-General state, on an Australian Broadcasting Commission radio programme on 17th February 1972, that Frequency Modulation broadcasting could not be introduced in Australia in the foreseeable future; if so (a) on what authority and information was this statement made as the Australian Broadcasting Control Board has not yet submitted its report on this subject, and (b) is the Parliament to assume (hat the Government has made its own decision before the Board has made its recommendations.

Senator GREENWOOD-The PostmasterGeneral has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

I spoke in general terms in relation to frequency modulation broadcasting during the radio programme referred to by the honourable senator. I did, however, draw attention to the fact that it could be difficult to introduce frequency modulation services at the same time as colour television.

The current position in relation to frequency modulation is that, due to the great volume of material which was required to be examined by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board in connection with its public inquiry into frequency modulation broadcasting and having regard to the important policy considerations involved, including the complex technical questions to be solved, it has not yet been practicable for the Board to complete its report and recommendations to me on this matter.

However, I have, been assured that the Board is pursuing the matter as expeditiously as practicable and hopes to be in a position to submit ils report at a relatively early date.

The Government will not be in a position to reach final decisions on the question of frequency modulation broadcasting services until it receives and examines the Board's report and recommendations.

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