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Wednesday, 12 December 1973
Page: 2702

Senator RAE - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Postmaster-General. Is the Minister aware that the regulations in relation to the use of 2-way radios on small craft will require that as from the end of this year only single sideband radios may be installed but that at the moment there is a shortage of those radios, the cost of them being 4 times as great as the cost of the double sideband radios? Is the Minister aware that the almost inevitable consequence of the enforcement of the present proposition will be a reduction in the usage of radios in small craft with a consequent reduction in the possible safety provided by the use of these radios? Will the Government reconsider the decision?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I understand that the arrangement to convert from double sideband to single sideband radios was made by the previous Government some considerable time ago. It was made as a result of an arrangement that was entered into by the previous Government on an international basis. Therefore, the present Government is, as it were, reaping the harvest of seeds sown by the previous administration. I understand that there is a phasing out operation. I am speaking just from recollection on the matter.

The PRESIDENT - It is 1978.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I understand that there is to be a phasing out operation. The President says that it is 1978. 1 thought that it was 1977. Therefore, over that period of time I will ask my colleague, the PostmasterGeneral, to have a look at this matter.

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