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Tuesday, 1 October 1974
Page: 1492

Senator YOUNG (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -I ask the PostmasterGeneral whether it is a fact that the Federal Government has accepted the recommendation of the Australian Post Office Commission that the Overseas Telecommunications Commission and the telecommunications facilities of the Australian Post Office be merged into a single telecommunications corporation. If so, can the Minister say when the actual merger is likely to take place?

Senator BISHOP - The position is that when the report was first handed to the Government and received by the Special Minister of State, it was submitted to Cabinet and Cabinet accepted the recommendation. Since that time representations from the Overseas Telecommunications

Commission were conveyed to the Prime Minister and to the Cabinet through me, asking that for some time the OTC be not involved in a merger. This matter has again been considered by the Government and the Government is of the same opinion as it held previously. That information has been conveyed to the OTC in discussions held last Friday by the interim chairman of the Telecommunications Commission, Mr Bill Gibbs, and also later in the afternoon by me in discussions with the Board and Sir Arthur Petfield. The target date set by the Prime Minister is 1 July. I think it would be rather a matter for me as soon as possible to bring down more positive recommendations in relation to the later position.

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