Written Answers. - Broadcasting Legislation.

Liz McManus

Question:

22 Ms McManus asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands when she will introduce the promised broadcasting legislation; the main issues to be covered in the legislation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19721/98]

My legislative proposals for broadcasting, which were agreed by Government last July, comprise four main elements which are: the statutory arrangements for the introduction of digital broadcasting services, in particular digital terrestrial television and structures for the regulation of broadcasting services from a broadcasting and cultural perspective across all platforms; powers to enable the establishment of Teilifís na Gaeilge as a separate statutory entity; honouring the commitments in An Action Programme for the Millennium in respect of independent local radio and the commitment to abolish the levy payable by independent broadcasters to the Independent Radio and Television Commission under the terms of their contracts; and the amendment of the provisions of the Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act, 1993, relating to the amount which RTE must make available for programmes commissioned from the independent production sector.

The proposals are currently being drafted into a Bill which I intend to introduce to the House during the course of this session.