Budget Paper No.6 1997/98 Northern Territory Economy
Tabled Paper 3223
Tabled Papers for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
A second commercial free-to-air television license for Darwin has been awarded to Telecasters, with broadcast expected to begin within 12 months. This will be the fourth television station available in Darwin along with ABC, SBS and Channel 8. Other areas of the Territory are also able to receive Imparja, Queensland Satellite Television and Channel 10. Darwin is also the base for Australian Television International broadcasts into South East Asia, with the news service prepared in the ABCs Darwin studios. In the past year, a new commercial radio station, Mix 104.9, was launched in Darwin along with the ABCs Parliamentary News Network. They join Hot 100, 8 Top FM, SBS and the four ABC stations (Classic FM, 8DDD, Triple J and Radio National) in Darwin. There are two commercial radio stations in Alice Springs and community radio and ABC services are available in many communities. In addition, there are several narrowcast services broadcasting TAB and tourist information. Cable television services were commenced in 1996 by Austar, formerly trading as CETV. Services are already available in several Darwin suburbs and construction is ongoing to include all areas in Darwin and Palmerston. Total investment is expected to be in excess of $18 million and will involve 438 km of cabling. Presently, sixteen channels are offered including news, music, sports and movies. New channels will be offered as they become available from satellites. Remote areas in the Territory are also connected by the Tanami Network which is an Aboriginal owned and directed company that offers video-conferencing facilities. Services are available at six sites, with the main users being people studying by correspondence and family members of inmates of the Alice Springs and Darwin Correctional Centres. The number of internet service providers in the Territory has increased over the last year. National providers, OzEmail, Access One, Telstra, Ausnet, IBM and Optus now offer services in competition with three local providers, Taunet, Dayworld and Top End. In addition, the Northern Territory University and the Northern Territory Government operate significant computer networks, and several large corporations in Darwin are linked via intranets to offices in other States. Communications Outlook There are several important government initiatives in the communications area, the most significant of which is the Regional Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund, announced in December 1996. The aim of the fund is the development of regional Australia through improved information and communication services and a minimum of $16 million is to be spent on communications infrastructure in the Territory in the next five years. Transport and Communications 85