Member for Eden Monaro Kristy McBain has written to Communications Minister Paul Fletcher asking him to find an urgent solution to the loss of the SBS and NITV broadcast signal in Bermagui.
“The signal at Bermagui went dead in the middle of last week and immediately prompted calls from constituents who are extremely concerned and frustrated by this development,” Ms McBain said.
“I’ve been advised that the SBS signal for Bermagui is no longer being maintained or repaired by an independent third party, which controls the transmission site.
“This third party has been maintaining the transmission site at its own expense under an agreement between commercial broadcasters and the Government since the transition to digital broadcasting.
“The Government needs to come to the table and resolve this issue so that the SBS signal is returned to Bermagui as a priority.
“NITV is a rich and important link to Aboriginal news, stories and culture – and SBS provides a unique lifeline connecting regional communities to the whole world.
“Locals who want to watch SBS or NITV are being advised to install a satellite dish or watch online via SBS On Demand.
“It is unfair and inappropriate to ask community members to incur the financial burden of obtaining Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) for a service that has always been, and should be, free.
“The residents of Bermagui deserve better and Labor will continue to hold this government to account for its inaction.” Ms McBain said.