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Thursday, 15 August 1974
Page: 1039

Senator Button asked the Minister represent ing the Special Minister of State, upon notice:

(   1 ) Did the Leader of the Opposition recently send telegrams to all local government bodies in Australia asking their views on the Government 's economic policies.

(   2 ) Were 870 telegrams despatched at urgent rate.

(   3 ) Was the cost of the telegrams $5,776.

(4)   Who authorised this expenditure and who met the cost.

Senator Willesee - The Special Minister of State has provided the following information for answer to the honourable senator's question: ( 1 ), (2) and (3) The Minister for Services and Property, whose Department administers the system whereby Federal Members of Parliament may send telegrams as an official charge, has informed me that accounts have been received by his Department for payment of 612 phonograms, at a total cost of $2,088.17, which were lodged between 7 and 1 1 June 1974 for despatch to certain State local government authorities and which were charged against the Federal Member's Authority card on personal issue to the Right Honourable the Leader of the Opposition.

Details are listed in the table below. The contents of the phonograms are not known.


(4)   Telegrams charged against a Federal Member's Authority are authorised by the particular Member to whom the Authority is issued. Costs are a charge on the estimates of the Department of Services and Property.

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