The switchover to digital TV in regional South Australia will cost many hotels, motels and caravan parks thousands of dollars in areas where terrestrial TV transmission towers aren’t being upgraded, Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham said today.
It could cost tourism operators up to $750 to convert each TV to digital satellite under the digital switchover.
“Many towns in regional SA are being forced onto satellite based television because Labor won’t allow flexible funding approaches that could save local terrestrial TV services,” Senator Birmingham said today.
Affected towns across regional South Australia include Kingscote, Kimba, Wudinna, Streaky Bay, Marion Bay, Elliston, Hawker, Woomera, Leigh Creek and Andamooka.
“Labor’s inflexible policy approach especially penalises small businesses such as hotels, motels and caravan parks who have to bear the cost of changing many television sets themselves with no assistance whatsoever.
“Labor’s digital switchover hits already struggling tourism operators in regional areas with thousands of dollars in new costs just to keep free-to-air TV in their rooms.
“This is a classic case of Labor adopting a one size fits all approach that ignores the special costs faced by small business, rather than applying policies that allow flexible, lowest cost outcomes.
“I have written to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Conroy, urging him to investigate these concerns and act to ensure South Australian tourism operators aren’t left with massive upgrade bills as a result of the switchover.”