Below is a 4 May 2011 media release from Federal MP for Page, Janelle Saffin, explaining eligibility for help converting the signal received by analogue televisions into high definition digital images and also what pitfalls to avoid while waiting for this assistance to become available on the NSW North Coast next year.
PENSIONERS in Page needing Federal Government help with making the switch to digital television in the second half of next year, should wait until Centrelink writes to them early next year.
Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin said eligible households will receive a letter from Centrelink about six months before Northern New South Wales is due to switch over, inviting them to participate in the Household Assistance Scheme (HAS).
Ms Saffin confirmed that this week’s Federal Budget would provide $308.8 million for the HAS to install, free of charge, high definition digital set-top boxes in New South Wales and other states until December 2013.
“Households are eligible where at least one resident is receiving a maximum rate of the Aged Pension; Disability Support Pension; Carer payment; Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) service pension; or the DVA income support supplement payment,” she said.
“Under the HAS, the Government has already provided assistance to more than 38,000 households in regional South Australia and Victoria.”
Ms Saffin said suitably qualified contractors would supply and install these set top boxes, and demonstrate how they will meet specific needs of the elderly and people with disabilities.
“People should not go out and purchase any equipment from retail outlets, expecting a reimbursement under the scheme,” she said.
“And they should not accept any approach from door-to-door salespeople or other advertised schemes. Centrelink will make the initial contact and organise everything from there.”
More information on the timetable for digital switchover is available from the Digital Ready Information Line on 1800 20 10 13 or from http://www.digitalready.gov.au/