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Thursday, 14 November 1974
Page: 2371

Senator BESSELL (TASMANIA) - I direct my question to the Postmaster-General. I refer to the increase of from $6 to $ 12 in the amateur wireless licence fee announced in the Budget. In view of the fact that there are only about 6,000 such licences and that many of these licences are held by either elderly or handicapped people, and as the extra revenue derived from this source would be only $36,000 a year, I ask: Will the Minister give consideration to reverting to the $6 licence fee, especially in view of the points that I have mentioned and also because of the sterling work undertaken by many of these people in times of emergency without their receiving any pecuniary reward?

Senator BISHOP - The recommendation of the Post Office to me was that the cost of servicing and of setting up the various administrative, training and examination personnel to do the job was of such magnitude that there ought to be some increase. The increase is not massive. I accepted the recommendation for those reasons. I do not know whether it is possible to consider special cases. If the honourable senator will give me particulars of what he considers to be special cases I will see to what extent I can advocate any change in relation to them.

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