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Help yourself to to SBS in regional Australia.



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Help yourself to SBS in Regional Australia The Minister for Communications, Senator Richard Alston, today announced that 16 communities in regional Australia will receive funding for SBS-TV services in the first round of grants under the SBS Self-help Retransmission Subsidy Scheme.

'As a result of this funding, more than 97,000 people will receive new or improved SBS television services,' Senator Alston said.

The towns to be served by the new transmitters are Kununurra, Port Hedland, Meekatharra, Eneabba, Merredin, Mandurah, Kondinin, Hyden, Ravensthorpe, Hopetoun, Esperance and Condingup in Western Australia; Oodnadatta in South Australia; Ikuntji and Pine Creek in the Northern Territory; and Mole Creek in Tasmania.

The Commonwealth Government made $450,000 available to SBS in 1999-2000 to assist self-help groups with their establishment costs. From 2000-20001, $500,000 per year will be provided on an ongoing basis.

'This funding demonstrates the Commonwealth Government's long-term commitment to improve communications for communities in rural, regional and remote Australia,' Senator Alston said.

The Scheme is designed to assist communities which do not receive SBS television and radio broadcasts. By funding the establishment of retransmission facilities, communities can obtain reception of SBS television or radio services at a reasonable cost, usually much earlier than it might otherwise be available.

SBS will meet up to 50 per cent of the establishment costs of an SBS self-help service (up to a limit of $25,000).

This Commonwealth funding is in addition to the $120 million available through the

Television Fund created as a result of the second stage of the Telstra sale. The TV Fund will extend SBS-TV to more than 1.2 million residents of regional Australia.

More information about the self-help retransmission scheme is available on the SBS website at www.sbs.com.au or by calling SBS on 02 9430 3173.

Media contact: Terry O'Connor, Minster's office 02 6277 7480 Website: www.richardalston.dcita.gov.au

43/00 11 May 2000

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