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Thursday, 20 October 1904

Mr JOHNSON (Lang) - I move-

That it is desirable to remodel the Telephone regulations, with a view to providing improved facilities for communication between city, suburban, and rural districts.

At the present time, owing to the red tape formalities which have to be complied with, it is very difficult for populous centres to obtain telephonic communication with the metropolis. Moreover, the rates charged at present are in many cases prohibitive, and I think honorable members will agree that the system in vogue and the high rates charged are not conducive to the extension of the telephone service. It should be the object of the Department to provide as reasonable facilities as possible for the most extensive use of the telephone system by the community. In my electorate there are several places, such as Sutherland, Cronulla, Yowie Bay, and Miranda, situated between George's River and Port Hacking, which are absolutely without telephone communication with the metropolis. Not only is there a very large resident population, but the district is also a place of public resort at holiday and other times. The National Park and the many other picturesque and delightful spots in this district are weekly resorted to by thousands of persons, and yet no telephonic communication is provided, although Sydneyis only fourteen or fifteen miles distant. In cases of emergency, such as those arising from accident or fire, there are no means of communicating with the police, the fire brigades, or the hospital authorities, and I think that every effort should be made by the Department to supply a deficiency of that kind.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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