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Thursday, 27 September 1973
Page: 1687

Mr KING (Wimmera) - In case it is thought that the Deputy Leader of the Australian Country Party (Mr Sinclair) is the only person supporting this proposition, I want to say a few words in support of the remarks of the Deputy Leader of the Australian Country Party. I, too, would like to offer my appreciation to the Postmaster-General (Mr Lionel Bowen) for his ready acceptance of the Senate's amendment. I am sure that many people throughout Australia will appreciate the Postmaster-General's decision to accept the proposals outlined originally by the honourable member for Gippsland (Mr Nixon). I think there is little need for me to indicate that since the first announcement of the Government's intention to accept the proposition put forward by the honourable member for Gippsland many small newspapers have contacted me personally, and no doubt other honourable members who represent country electorates, to express their appreciation. I think it is fairly obvious why they have done so. After all in some of the extreme cases - I emphasise the word extreme' - postal rates were to increase from something like l.Sc to as high as 11c. I repeat that that is what was to happen in extreme cases. But, in the broad, they were to be increased by up to about 7c. The acceptance of this amendment certainly will mean that the proposed postal rate increases will be reduced considerably. While I am on my feet I would like to say that I appreciate the PostmasterGeneral's co-operation with respect to the land line rates as far as radio is concerned. His actions have been very much appreciated by people in country areas. I wish to offer my thanks to the Postmaster-General.

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