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Digital switchover assistance scheme - exclusions for renters

Estimates & Committees
Scott Ludlam 10 Mar 2010

Senator Ludlam asked:

a) What proportion of otherwise eligible households in the Mildura region will be exempt from the assistance with antenna and cabling because they are renters?
b) Will renters with inadequate antenna access digital TV services following the cessation of analog TV services in Mildura?
c) Will the scheme be expanded to provide antenna and cabling assistance to eligible renters?

All households eligible for assistance under the Household Assistance Scheme are eligible to receive a set-top box. However, households are not eligible for external antenna and cabling upgrades where the customer does not own their place of residence (i.e. they are a renter). Where a customer is not eligible for external antenna and cabling upgrades, it remains the responsibility of the landlord, body corporate or facility owner to privately arrange for this work to be undertaken if such work is required. This is because there are legal issues restricting persons, other than the legal owners of the property, authorising external works, such as antenna and cabling upgrades on a residence.

a) Approximately 50 per cent of households potentially eligible for the Household Assistance Scheme (HAS) in the Mildura TV licence area are renters and are not eligible for external antenna and cabling upgrades. However, the great majority of these households are not expected to need to upgrade their existing external antenna and/or cabling to receive digital TV.

b) For the minority of renters who may require, but are ineligible to receive an external antenna and/or cabling upgrade, installers will provide an internal antenna and cabling.
The Service Contractor will also provide these households with a letter outlining what upgrades are required, which the renter can provide to their landlord.

c) There are no plans to extend eligibility to external antenna and/or cabling upgrades to renters.

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