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Tuesday, 26 November 1974
Page: 2714

Senator DURACK (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is addressed to the Postmaster-General. Has the Government made any decision in regard to the proposal of the Professional Radio Employees Institute that the amalgamation between the Overseas Telecommunications Commission and the proposed Australian Telecommunications Commission should be at board level only and that the OTC should be retained as a separate entity reporting only to the board?

Senator BISHOP -I thought 1 told the honourable senator last week that Mr McGrane, Federal Secretary of the PREI, had put this notion to the working party. All 1 can tell the honourable senator about the situation at present is that we anticipate making a submission to Cabinet either this week or next week in which the full scope of the organisation will be set out. As soon as possible thereafter I will tell the honourable senator what Cabinet decides. A lot of the information which he seeks about the situation will be answered tonight, I think, when he is meeting the Director-General and Mr Bert Spratt who has been appointed to the proposed Postal Commission. I am sure they will give him as much information, in a public sense, if not more, than I can give him at the present time.

Senator Durack -I hope so.

Senator BISHOP -I would be interested if the honourable senator would indicate at this stage the attitude of the Opposition to the Commission and to the Vernon report. If he has a strong point of view, now would be a good time to introduce it. A debate will take place later but if he has a point of view different from that held by people in the industry it would be a good thing, I suggest, to put it to the Government.

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