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Consultation period complete for VAST service review

The Minister for Regional Communications, Senator Bridget McKenzie, has welcomed the progress of the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service review and the number of submissions received through the consultation process.

The review is considering the effectiveness of the current VAST service and looking for efficiencies to deliver free-to-air television and radio services in areas where terrestrial services are not available.

Thirty three submissions were received during the consultation period, twenty eight of which have been released publicly; more than a third of submissions were from VAST users around the country. Other submissions were received from industry stakeholders and non-government and community organisations.

'The level of engagement with this consultation process from both VAST stakeholders and the public is highly encouraging,' Minister McKenzie said.

'200,000 Australian households, and around 30,000 travelling Australians, such as grey nomads, rely on the VAST service to access news and entertainment, so it's important that we continue to assess the performance of the service and ensure that it is reliable and effective.'

The VAST service has been operating since 2010, as part of the national switchover to digital television.

The Department of Communications and the Arts is conducting the review and expects to report to Government later this year.

More information about the review and the submissions are now available at: www.communications.gov.au/vastreview.

Media contact: Kate Woodbridge: 0409 679 924.