Joint Media Release
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon Alexander Downer MP, and the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston
8 August 2000
Broadcasts to Asia-Pacific Region
The Government today decided on two initiatives to enhance Australia's broadcasting into the Asia Pacific recognising the dynamic nature of the region, and the importance of a credible, reliable and independent voice.
Recent events have highlighted the value of Australia's international broadcasting activities in conveying accurate news and information to the region, as well as provide an Australian perspective.
The Government has decided to provide Radio Australia with up to approximately $3 million per year for three years to ensure it is able to strengthen transmission arrangements in the region and to enhance its online services.
It has also decided to seek proposals for the continuation of an Australian television service to the Asia-Pacific region.
The Government considers that an editorially independent Australian television presence in the region, projecting accurate images and perceptions about Australia and its way of life, is very much in the national interest.
The Government's expectation is that the service would support Australia's broader national interests by providing a credible, reliable and independent voice in the region; by presenting through its news, information and documentary programs a 'window' on Australia; and by projecting Australian perspectives.
In recognition of the national interest aspects of the service, the Government will consider providing some funding assistance for programming and transmission. However, potential providers will be expected also to generate additional commercial support.
Note: Copies of the formal Request for Proposal are available on the DFAT website at http://www.dfat.gov.au/atv/ and advertisements will be placed in the national press.
Media contacts: James Baker Mr Downer's Office 02 6277 7500
Terry O'Connor Senator Alston's Office 02 6277 7480