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Wednesday, 7 December 1983
Page: 3466

Question No. 645

Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 20 October 1983 :

(1) Has Telecom Australia considered introducing a smart card system into Australia for use in pay telephones.

(2) If so, (a) has it given consideration to extending their use to electronic banking and shopping and (b) does this provide a potential conflict with videotex.

(3) Is it a fact that the introduction of the smart card system could eliminate thefts from coin telephone boxes, and could subsequently reduce costly vandalism to public telephone booths.

Mr Duffy —The answer to the honourable member's question, based on advice from the Australian Telecommunications Commission, is as follows:

(1) Telecom has no plans at this stage to introduce a smart card system for public telephones. It is, however, closely monitoring the overseas development and implementation of these systems.

(2) (a) No. (b) Not applicable.

(3) Yes, to the extent that coins would no longer be required to make a call. Vandalism to booths is, however, quite often independent of attempts to rob coin telephone instruments.