Australian Government, 2009‑10 Budget
Budget

Part 2: Expense Measures

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Australian Broadband Guarantee — reduction in funding

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - -11.1 -8.9 -3.1 -

The Government will reduce funding for the Australian Broadband Guarantee by $23.1 million over three years.

This reduction in funding recognises the greater availability of metro‑comparable broadband services to residential and small business premises that now exists, and does not affect the level of financial assistance available to eligible residents or businesses.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation — additional funding

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - 28.5 42.4 65.0 -
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - 14.2 - - -

The Government will provide an additional $150.0 million over three years from 2009‑10 as a contribution towards the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). This funding will enable the ABC to meet key priorities including the establishment of a digital children's channel and to increase the level of Australian drama content to match the requirements placed on commercial television broadcasters.

This measure includes capital funding of $13.6 million in 2009‑10 for the ABC to maintain its current asset base and an additional $0.5 million to support the introduction of a digital children's channel.

Funding requirements from 2012‑13 will be determined in the context of the next triennial funding agreement for the ABC.

Further information in relation to the digital children's channel can be found in the press release of 22 April 2009 issued by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation — base funding

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - - - - -

The Government will provide $2.1 billion over three years from 2009‑10 in base funding for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

This measure involves funding of $698.7 million in 2009‑10, $716.0 million in 2010‑11 and $725.8 million in 2011‑12. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Special Broadcasting Service Corporation — cessation of analog television simulcasting

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Special Broadcasting Service Corporation - - -0.3 -3.6 -
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - - -0.9 -6.7 -
Total - - -1.2 -10.3 -

The Government will achieve savings of $11.4 million over two years from 2010‑11 by ceasing analog television transmission simulcasting and distribution services by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation, on a market‑by‑market basis, in line with the stated digital television switchover timetable. Analog transmissions will no longer be required when digital switchover has been completed in each market. The Government has committed to complete digital switchover by 31 December 2013.

Savings from ceasing analog television transmission simulcasting and distribution services from 2012‑13 will be determined in the context of the next triennial funding agreement for the national broadcasters.

Further information can be found in the press releases of 19 October 2008 and 30 March 2009 by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Special Broadcasting Service Corporation — distribution and transmission efficiencies

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - nfp nfp nfp -
Special Broadcasting Service Corporation - nfp nfp nfp -
Total - - - - -

The Government will promote efficiencies and savings in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation from the more efficient use of distribution and transmission services, including through closer cooperation in arrangements with external providers.

Efficiencies and savings from 2012‑13 will be determined in the context of the next triennial funding agreement for the national broadcasters.

The savings from this measure are not for publication (nfp) to protect the national broadcasters' position in any future negotiations with external distribution and transmission providers.

Australian Communications and Media Authority — operational efficiencies

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Australian Communications and Media Authority - 0.7 -0.9 -0.9 -1.0

The Government will improve the operational efficiency of the Australian Communications and Media Authority by consolidating the functions performed by its Perth and Adelaide offices. These offices will close in 2009‑10 and these areas will be serviced by other offices as necessary.

The Government will provide funding of $0.7 million in 2009‑10 to the Australian Communications and Media Authority to implement the closures.

The office consolidation will deliver net savings of $2.1 million over four years.

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network — additional support

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - 1.2 2.0 2.1 2.1
Australian Communications and Media Authority - 1.2 2.0 2.1 2.1

The Government will provide an additional $7.5 million over four years to further support the activities of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN). This funding supplements $0.8 million in existing funding allocated to ACCAN in 2009‑10 under the Telecommunications Consumer Representation and Research Grants program, provision for which has already been included in the forward estimates.

ACCAN represents consumer interests in telecommunications, disseminates information to consumers through the internet and publications, engages and trains volunteer consumer advocates, coordinates responses to government‑initiated processes, and conducts conferences and workshops.

The costs of this measure will be fully recovered from annual carrier licence charges collected by the Australian Communications and Media Authority under the Telecommunications (Carrier Licence Charges) Act 1997.

Community broadcasting National Training Program — continuation

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6

The Government will provide $2.5 million over four years to continue the community broadcasting National Training Program, which enables the community broadcasting sector to plan and deliver accredited management and broadcasting skills training to community broadcasters, particularly in regional, rural and remote Australia. The program also addresses special training needs relating to radio for the print handicapped, and for Indigenous and ethnic broadcasters.

Digital dividend — technical planning and restacking

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Australian Communications and Media Authority - 4.0 6.5 7.1 5.4
Australian Communications and Media Authority - 0.3 - - -

The Government will provide $23.4 million over four years to the Australian Communications and Media Authority to replan and move (restack) digital television services following the cessation of analog television broadcasting. This will help ensure more efficient use of the radio‑frequency spectrum. This restacking will free up spectrum, known as the 'digital dividend', which will be made available for alternative uses.

Digital Television Switchover — regional South Australia, Victoria and Queensland

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - 25.8 51.4 40.9 ..
Centrelink - 6.2 4.9 3.9 -
Australian Communications and Media Authority - 1.5 1.5 0.8 -
Total - 33.5 57.8 45.6 0.0
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - 1.4 0.2 - -
Australian Communications and Media Authority - 0.1 - - -
Total - 1.6 0.2 - -

The Government will provide $138.7 million over three years to assist the switchover from analog to digital television in regional areas of South Australia, Victoria and Queensland. This is consistent with the Government's switchover timetable announced on 19 October 2008 and contributes towards the Government's commitment to complete digital television switchover by the end of 2013.

This measure will provide $119.7 million over three years to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy for:

  • an information and communications campaign;
  • an assistance program to provide in‑home assistance for eligible households; and
  • a program to work with industry to drive digital take‑up by consumers.

Provision of funding for the remaining areas of Australia will be considered closer to the scheduled switchover time.

This measure includes funding of $3.9 million over three years to the Australian Communications and Media Authority to identify areas without access to digital television services and other technical switchover‑related projects.

This measure also includes funding of $15.1 million over three years for Centrelink to provide support to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy to deliver assistance for eligible households.

Do Not Call Register — eligibility extension

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Australian Communications and Media Authority - 2.3 0.9 0.7 0.7
Australian Communications and Media Authority - 1.5 0.7 0.7 0.7

The Government will provide $4.7 million over four years to allow the registration of all Australian telephone and fax numbers on the Do Not Call Register. This will allow all organisations including businesses (particularly small business) and emergency service organisations to access the protections provided by the register.

The costs of this measure will be partially recovered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority from the telemarketing and fax marketing industries to a total of $3.5 million over four years.

National Broadband Network — implementation and establishment

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - 53.2 - - -
Department of Finance and Deregulation 0.2 0.9 - - -
Total 0.2 54.0 - - -

The Government will provide $54.2 million over two years for the implementation and establishment of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Funding of $53.2 million in 2009‑10 will be provided to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy to conduct an implementation study into the NBN that will examine detailed engineering, commercial and structural issues and report by early 2010. The funding will also support the department in the early implementation of a network in Tasmania, implementation of the regional backbone blackspots program, and development of legislation and a regulatory framework.

The Government will also provide $0.2 million in 2008‑09 and $0.9 million in 2009‑10 to the Department of Finance and Deregulation to assist in the implementation and establishment of the NBN company, given the department's role in advising the Minister for Finance and Deregulation as joint shareholder.

See also the related capital measures titled National Broadband Network — initial investment and National Broadband Network — regional backbone blackspots program in the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio.

National ICT Australia — funding extension

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - - - 25.0 23.8
Australian Research Council - - - 25.0 23.8
Total - - - 50.0 47.5

The Government will provide $185.5 million over four years from 2011‑12 (including $45.1 million in 2013‑14 and $42.9 million in 2014‑15) to extend funding for National ICT Australia Limited (NICTA).

NICTA undertakes research in a range of areas including intelligent transport systems, safety and security, environmental management, mobile systems and services, and software infrastructure, with a view to the commercialisation of research through spin‑out companies and technology licensing.

NICTA's Australian Government funding is derived from two sources: the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy's ICT Centre of Excellence program and the Australian Research Council's National Competitive Grants Program.

National Transmission Network — Residual Funding Pool — return of uncommitted funding

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - -0.4 -0.4 -0.3 -0.3

The Government will return uncommitted funding from the National Transmission Network — Residual Funding Pool to the budget.

The National Transmission Network — Residual Funding Pool was created as part of the post‑National Transmission Network sale arrangements to ensure that a number of Government commitments in relation to transmission arrangements were met. Uncommitted funding will be returned to the budget, but existing funding assistance for the transmission costs incurred by community broadcasters, Radio for the Print Handicapped, and three remote commercial broadcasters (Golden West Network, Imparja TV and North‑West Radio) will continue.

This measure will provide savings of $1.4 million over four years.

Regional Telecommunications Review Response — Digital Regions Initiative

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Department of the Treasury - 1.6 9.6 14.5 4.7
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - 1.6 5.1 6.1 2.8
Total - 3.2 14.7 20.6 7.5

The Government will provide $46.0 million over four years to establish a co‑funded grants program with State, Territory and local governments to enhance broadband‑enabled delivery of key health, education and emergency services in regional, rural and remote Australia.

This measure forms part of the Government's initial response to the Regional Telecommunications Review and complements the Government's enhanced National Broadband Network.

Further information can be found in the press release of 5 March 2009 issued by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Under the new framework for federal financial relations, commencing 1 January 2009, payments to the States, with a few exceptions, will be made by the Australian Treasury to state treasuries.

Regional Telecommunications Review Response — enhanced Satellite Phone Subsidy Scheme

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - 2.9 2.4 2.5 3.6
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - .. - - -

The Government will provide $11.4 million over four years to continue and enhance the Satellite Phone Subsidy Scheme.

The enhanced scheme will allow replacement of older handsets for people living in areas without terrestrial mobile phone coverage and allow emergency service and health organisations to access the subsidy for additional handsets where needed. For people living in areas without terrestrial mobile phone coverage the level of subsidy has been increased from 60 to 85 per cent of the satellite phone handset cost, capped at $1,000. For people living within coverage areas, but working or travelling in non‑coverage areas for significant periods of time, the subsidy will be 50 per cent of the satellite phone handset cost, capped at $700.

This measure forms part of the Government's initial response to the Regional Telecommunications Review.

Further information can be found in the press release of 5 March 2009 by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Regional Telecommunications Review Response — Indigenous Communications Program

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Department of the Treasury - 0.6 2.3 2.0 2.1
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy -6.7 -8.5 1.7 5.8 4.5
Total -6.7 -7.9 3.9 7.8 6.6
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - .. - - -

The Government will provide $30.0 million over four years to implement the Indigenous Communications Program, to provide community phones, basic public internet access facilities and computer training for remote Indigenous communities in partnership with the States and Territories.

The funding includes the redirection and reprofiling of $26.3 million of funding (including $6.7 million from 2008‑09) from the Backing Indigenous Ability Telecommunications Program, provision for which had already been made in the forward estimates. The Government will also provide an additional $3.7 million of funding in 2012‑13 to the Indigenous Communications Program.

In partnership with the Northern Territory, South Australian, Western Australian, Queensland and New South Wales Governments, the Australian Government will provide $7.0 million over four years as part of this program to facilitate the internet access and computer training components of the program.

This measure forms part of the Government's initial response to the Regional Telecommunications Review.

Further information can be found in the press release of 5 March 2009 issued by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Rural and Regional National Broadband Network Initiative — ABC regional broadband hubs

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - 2.5 4.7 8.1 -

The Government will provide $15.3 million over three years to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) to assist regional communities to create local broadband material to complement the roll‑out of the National Broadband Network. Funding will be used to identify and employ local producers to work on cross‑media stories and to provide training and equipment for the creation of user‑generated content. The ABC will also establish community websites and genre portals through the ABC Local network to develop and host the material, allowing Australians with common interests to talk to one another and share experiences.

See also the related expense measures titled Rural and Regional National Broadband Network Initiative — enhanced digital regions initiative and Rural and Regional National Broadband Network Initiative — rural NBN coordinators, in the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio.

Rural and Regional National Broadband Network Initiative — enhanced Digital Regions Initiative

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - 0.9 4.5 6.3 2.2

The Government will provide $14.0 million over four years to fast‑track and enhance the Digital Regions Initiative. The Digital Regions Initiative will promote broadband‑enabled delivery of health, education and emergency services in regional, rural and remote Australia. The additional funding will allow for a greater number of local broadband enabled projects to be rolled out. The initiative will be fast‑tracked by introducing a two‑stage assessment process to assist State, Territory and local governments in expediting the assessment of applications.

This initiative is in addition to the $46.0 million over four years provided as part of the Government's initial response to the Regional Telecommunications Review.

See also the related expense measures titled Regional Telecommunications Review — Digital Regions Initiative, Rural and Regional National Broadband Network Initiative — rural NBN coordinators and Rural and Regional National Broadband Network Initiative — ABC regional broadband hubs, in the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio.

Rural and Regional National Broadband Network Initiative — rural NBN coordinators

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - 0.8 1.4 1.4 1.4

The Government will provide $5.0 million over four years to support up to 12 regional coordinators to help local governments, community organisations and businesses to take up broadband in regional communities. This measure directly supports the implementation of the National Broadband Network — regional backbone blackspots program.

See also the related expense measures titled Rural and Regional National Broadband Network Initiative — enhanced Digital Regions Initiative and Rural and Regional National Broadband Network Initiative — ABC regional broadband hubs, in the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio.

Special Broadcasting Service Corporation — additional funding

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Special Broadcasting Service Corporation - 4.0 5.0 11.0 -

The Government will provide an additional $20.0 million over three years to the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation (SBS). This additional funding will allow the SBS to increase its level of local content by an additional 50 hours per annum from 2011‑12.

Funding requirements from 2012‑13 will be determined in the context of the next triennial funding agreement for the SBS.

Special Broadcasting Service Corporation — base funding

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Special Broadcasting Service Corporation - - - - -

The Government will provide $362.6 million over three years from 2009‑10 in base funding for the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation.

This measure involves funding of $118.7 million in 2009‑10, $120.6 million in 2010‑11 and $123.3 million in 2011‑12. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Funding requirements from 2012‑13 will be determined in the context of the next triennial funding agreement for the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation.

Television blackspots — alternative technical solutions

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy -0.6 - - - -

The Government will no longer contribute funding to address the Kalorama North and Kalorama South television reception blackspots as the Yarra Ranges Shire Council has advised that it will not be proceeding with this project.

This measure will provide savings of $0.6 million in 2008‑09..

Television towers — improved coverage

Expense ($m)
2008‑09 2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy - nfp - - -

The Government will provide funding in 2009‑10 to improve digital television reception in the Para Escarpment area in Adelaide.

The expenditure for this measure is not for publication (nfp) to protect the Government's position in any future negotiations with external providers.

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