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Wednesday, 28 March 1973
Page: 772

Mr DUTHIE (Wilmot) I ask the Postmaster-General whether the Government has any plans to remove or reduce the $50. installation fee for telephones. If this relief cannot be granted at present to all subscribers, will the PostmasterGeneral have this $50 fee removed for our pensioners, especially invalid pensioners to whom the telephone is a life link with the doctor?

Mr Lionel Bowen (KINGSFORD-SMITH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The whole gamut of the financial structure of the Post Office is under review at present. It is true that the $50 installation fee has been regarded as a harsh penalty, particularly on pensioners. It is true also that retired people in the community feel that for health reasons a telephone is an essential aspect of living and is required in order to obtain urgent medical assistance. It is recognised that previous governments have given certain concessions in certain areas. It follows, therefore, that in the review of all the tariff structures of the Post Office, which is not likely to take place this year, this matter should be the subject of review, with sympathetic consideration being given to pensioners.

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