On 26/7/1928 the Government announced its intention to establish a National Broadcasting Service, whereby one organisation would cater for the National programmes for all States. The technical services of all States would be owned and operated by the Government, while the provision of programmes would be left to experienced entrepreneurs under contract. An advisory committee to assist the Postmaster-General in the matter was appointed, consisting of Mr. H. P. Brown (Chairman), Mr. J. H. Hammond, K. C., Professor J. P. V. Madsen, Hon. R. B. Orchard, and Mr. W. H. Swanton.
This Committee prepared a detailed scheme for the establishment of the National Service and the extension of the broadcasting service generally throughout the Commonwealth. The recommendation included:-
In accordance with the Government's approval of the Advisory Committee's plan, action was taken concurrently by the Department:-
About this time the Company owning Station 6WF, Perth, informed the Department that they were unable to continue the service owing to the heavy losses that they had sustained, and were likely to sustain during the remainder of their licence period. They requested the Department to take over and continue the service. The Department purchased the plant and provided the service, including the programmes, from 20/12/1928 until the station was taken over under the National Broadcasting Scheme on 1/9/1929.
As the licences of the four main stations in Sydney and Melbourne were due to expire in July/August, 1929, and as the Government wished to assist the pioneer companies by taking over their assets, if they so desired, the plants of the existing stations were acquired. At the same time tenders were called for plant for additional stations in accordance with conditions specifying plant of the most modern type.
The assets of the Companies were acquired by the Postmaster-General's Department at the expiration of the various licences and utilised for the National Broadcasting Service. The Government had decided on this course, although it was recognised that considerable expenditure was needed in most of the stations to modernise the equipment and generally to improve the transmissions.
On 9/5/1929 tenders were invited for the provision of the programmes in accordance with specified conditions, and eight tenders were received. The combined tender of Union Theatres Limited, Fuller's Theatres Limited, and J. Albert & Son was accepted, and the tenderers formed the Australian Broadcasting Company, which Company entered into a contract with the Commonwealth for the provision of the programme services for a period of approximately three years ending in all States on 30/6/1932.
The schedule hereunder shows the fees charged for broadcast listeners' licences from July, 1924, to the present time:-
|Paid to Broadcasting Company||Retained by department for Administration|
|17/7/24 to 31/7/25||35/-||30/-||5/-|
|1/8/25 to 31/12/27||27/6||25/-||2/6|
|1/1/28 to present timeL||24/-||20/- (b)||1/-
(3/- to A.W.A.) (c)
From 1/8/1925 to 31/12/1927 the payment of the listeners' licence fees in two instalments of 15/- each was permitted; 2/6 being retained by the Department in respect of each instalment. Owing to difficulties which had arisen, the instalment system was discontinued on 31/12/1927.
Up till 31/12/1927, Dealer's Listening Licences, Special Licences and Temporary Licences were also issued, the fees charged and the departmental proportion being:-
|Dealer's Listening Licence||£5||£1/5/-|
These licences were abolished on the introduction of the uniform licence from 1/1/1928.
The apportionment of a listener's license fee (24/- for Zone 1 and 17/6 for Zone 2) from the date of the inauguration of the National Broadcasting Service in each State is as follows:-
|(Australian Broadcasting Company)||12/-||12/-|
|P.M.G. Department (for administration and technical services)||9/-||2/6|
|Amalgamated Wireless (Patent Royalty)||3/-||3/-|