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Thursday, 18 October 1956

Mr DAVIDSON (DAWSON, QUEENSLAND) (Postmaster-General) - The honorable member for Lyne referred to me some time ago the position at Stockton, in respect of telephone services, and I supplied him with some information on the subject. At present, I can reply to his question by stating that the installation of the equipment for the automatic exchange in the new building at Stockton has been deferred because of the pressing claims of other areas where it is not possible to make alternative arrangements to relieve their position in the same way as is possible at Stockton. It is proposed, in order to deal with the immediate situation, to extend the cable service in the areas at Stockton where applications for telephones are still outstanding. This cable extension will be completed early in the forthcoming year, and it is expected that the present exchange, with some slight extension of board facilities, will be capable of dealing with all those outstanding applications when the cable supplies are put in. Therefore, for the immediate future the position as regards telephone installations at Stockton is that the new exchange is not essential to serve these needs, which will be serviced by the existing installations. New equipment will be put into the new automatic exchange as circumstances permit. 1 cannot inform the honorable member, ofthand, about the immediate use to which the new building has been put, or about the accommodation position that he mentioned, but I shall obtain that information as soon as possible and let him have it.

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