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Telecom decides to keep nine exchanges marked for closure



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coMMUMonor-tsPress Release Minister for CommunicationsNo.8 2/ 6 6 Date 5 October 198 2 The Hon. N.A. Brown, Q.C., M.P. qVTELECOM DECIDES TO KEEP NINE EXCHANGES MARKED FOR CLOSUREOperations at nine Manual Assistance Centres ’ :(MACs) previously marked for closure would continue as a result of a Telecom review, the Minister for Communications, Mr Neil Brown, said today.A decision to close 31 of 109 MACs in Australia was made in late 1981 in order to increase efficiency. Community concern about possible job losses and reduced services led to Telecom being asked to re-examine its plans."Telecom has now reviewed its plans," Mr Brown said, "and it has done this thoroughly and sympathetically."It has been able to retain 9 additional MACs as a result of the review."All 9 of the MACs to continue operating are in country areas, taking to 65 the number of MACs strategically placed in the country," Mr Brown said. "Another 22 MACs are located in metropolitan districts."He said that although 22 of the present 109 MACs would be closed over the next three years there would be no decline in service."There is no question of customers in these areas being left without access to telephonists."Any calls requiring operator assistance, including emergency calls, will be automatically re-routed to an alternative MAC,"Mr Brown said.. . ./2

2.

Manual Assistance Centres are distinct from the small manual

telephone exchanges which are being phased out under Telecom's

widely accepted rural automation program.

MACs provide one or more main manual services: trunk and inter­

national assistance (i.e. operator connected), directory

assistance, and service difficulties and faults. In addition,

they provide reminder or wake-up calls and changed number

redirection. .

Mr Brown said the revised plan had been fully explained to the

Australian Telephonists and Phonogram Officers' Association and

discussions on some matters of detail were continuing.

"This revised MAC plan shows a positive approach by Telecom to

the social and employment issues of rationalising its Manual

Assistance Centres, as well as the economic ones.

"In particular, employment levels and telephonists in country

areas have received special attention although it is clear that

throughout Australia, in overall ter m s , fewer telephonists will

be needed in the future."

This was a reflection of:

. increasing availability of automatic local services, STD and

ISD;

. customers dialling their own calls using cheaper, faster STD

and ISD (there were now 30 million fewer trunk calls booked

with operators than six years a g o ) ;

. improvements in network performance;

. improvements in technology and operating procedures to provide

customers with speedier responses.

. . ./3

3.

Mr Brown said the critical factors in selecting locations for

MACS w e r e :

. costs and quality of service to all customers;

. the economical use of modern technology;

. the cost and availability of suitable MAC accommodation for

new; technology installations; .

. the availability of a stable workforce;

. the availability of alternative employment for Telecom staff

affected by MAC closures.

5 October 1982

Below are lists of Manual Assistance Centres indicating those

operating and those to be closed.

METROPOLITAN MANUAL ASSISTANCE CENTRES

New South Wales

Dailey

Pitt

Bankstown

Edgecliff

Newtown

North Sydney

Parramatta

South Australia

Waymouth

Franklin

Gawler

Tasmania

Victoria

Exhibition

Lonsdale

Hawthorn

Preston South

Russell

Windsor

Queensland

Central

Edison

Woolloongabba

Western Australia

Hobart

Wellington

Pier . . ./4

4

COUNTRY MANUAL

. 4.

ASSISTANCE CENTRES

-

New South Wales Victoria Queensland

Albury Ballarat Cairns

Armidale Bendigo Charleville

Bourke *Dromana Hughehden

Broken Hill Geelong Ipswich

Canberra ♦Hamilton Longreach

Campbelltown . *Horsham Mackay -

*Cooma Morwell Maryborough

Dubbo Shepparton Mt Isa

Gosford ♦Swan Hill Nambour

Goulburn Wangaratta Rockhampton

Grafton Warrnambool Roma

Griffith Southport

Kempsey South Australia and Toowoomba

Lismore Northern Territory Townsville

*Moree Alice Springs

Newcastle Darwin Western Australia

*Nowra Kadina Albany

Orange Mt Gambia Bunbury

Parkes Murray Bridge Geraldton

Penrith Port Pirie Kalgoorlie

Queanbeyan Katanning

Tamwo.rth Tasmania ♦Northam

*Taree Launceston Port Hedland

Wagga Wagga Burnie

Wollongong

♦Centres to be retained following recent review

MACS WHICH WILL CEASE OPERATIONS

New South Wales Tweed Heads Windsor

Ashfield Young Bega

Chatswood Lithgow Inverell

Bowral Mudgee Musswellbrook

Cowra Deniliquin Condobolin

„ „ /s

Victoria

Frankston

Croydon

South Australia

Woomera

Port Augusta

Queensland

Atherton

Dalby

Gladstone

Goondiwindi