Television viewers have been warned of more station closures, following the shutdown of the Mildura Digital Television service in Victoria.

The owners of the TV service which broadcast Network Ten programs to about 70,000 local residents ended its broadcasts on Sunday night (30 June), citing falling advertising revenues.

The Albanese Government’s solution to replace the service has been to invite local residents to spend $800 to connect to a satellite.

Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce described the Albanese Government’s suggestion that local residents spend $800 on a satellite service to continue watching Network Ten programs as appalling.

“Here we are in the middle of Labor’s cost-of-living crisis and the Government’s solution is to have people pay nearly $1000 to continue to watch the programs of one station,” Mr Boyce said.

“Locals across Central Queensland and the Wide Bay are already doing it tough. The Albanese Government is clearly out of touch with reality.

“I am deeply concerned about the plight of local TV stations in the Flynn electorate.”

Shadow Communications Minister David Coleman said leading television CEOs have written to the Prime Minister warning that more TV stations could follow suit unless they didn’t get more help.

They have asked for a three-year moratorium on the payment of a commercial broadcast tax which raises about $46 million a year. Mr Coleman said the Coalition had already announced support for the removal of the tax and urged the Government to follow suit.

“The Minister has known about the plight of Mildura Digital Television for months and only moved legislation on this issue four days before the shut-down,” Mr Coleman said.

“This is a Government that is addicted to reviews, roundtables and committees, but we are not seeing action to help save our local TV stations.

“Unfortunately, under the Albanese Government it is likely that Ten broadcasts in Mildura won’t be the last to close down.”

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