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ABA Terms of Reference into the adequacy of regional TV news released.



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ENDS: Tuesday, 26 February 2002 Contact: Sen Jan McLucas: 4031 6009

Jim Turnour: 0418 770484

ABA Terms of Reference into the Adequacy of Regional TV News Released

Thursday 6th December 2001

Senator Jan McLucas today welcomed the release of the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) Terms of Reference into the Adequacy of Regional TV News.

“I’m particularly pleased that there is a range of ways for people to make submissions including postal, email, telephone and public hearings,” Senator McLucas said.

“It is now critical that people make the effort to put submissions into the inquiry. In the first place they should write or telephone but I will be lobbying hard to make sure we get public hearings in Cairns and Townsville.

Senator McLucas said, “We need competition in our local news services to maintain quality and accountability. Ten local news played an important role informing the local community and fostering discussion and debate about local issues. Local news services play a key role in maintaining and developing our northern cultural identity.

“If we want to get Channel 10 local news back on the air in North Queensland then we need to tell the ABA. The ABA does have the capacity to force broadcasters like Southern Cross Broadcasting to deliver certain services as part of its charter.

“Southern Cross Broadcasting is receiving $64 million in Federal Government subsidies for digital conversion as it claims to be a regional broadcaster. To me that means they should be delivering a regional local news service.

“People wanting to make a submission to the ABA inquiry can contact my office to obtain the inquiries Terms of Reference phone 1800 247 578.

“The ABA has included a list of questions to assist people develop a submission but my staff are also available to assist people if required.

“I really do encourage as many people as possible to make the effort,” Senator McLucas concluded.

For further information contact Jan McLucas or Jim Turnour 1800 247 578 or 0418 770484

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