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Wednesday, 8 May 1968

Mr SCHOLES (Corio) -I rise to raise a matter, which has been discussed with me by the Geelong Chamber of Commerce and Manufactures. This organisation has indicated that it considers that the serious delays to mails between Geelong and Melbourne are having a detrimental effect on commerce in its area. It is claimed by the Chamber that these delays are up to 2 and 3 days. The mails travel a distance of 45 miles between Geelong and Melbourne.

I have had experience of some delays in mail which has been posted in Melbourne prior to the week-end - probably on Thursday or Friday - and is not delivered till Monday. Industry and commerce operating outside the capital cities have a fairly severe disadvantage in regard to communications. Because of this I think the complaint made by the Chamber is a reasonable one. It is absolutely necessary that the most expeditious deliveries of mail be made. If mails are not speedy or if they are partially unreliable then important information is not always to hand when it should be. Shortly after I became a member of this Parliament a stockbroker in Geelong made regular complaints to me about his inability to obtain reports quickly from the Melbourne Stock Exchange. These complaints have fallen off recently. I do not know whether he has given up trying or whether he is getting better service. However,I believe the Postmaster-General's Department has initiated inquiries into the complaints which have been made.

I make a plea to the Postmaster-General (Mr Hulme) that he or his Department look into the delivery of mail into and out of provincial cities. I ask him to examine especially the delivery of mail to do with business and commerce and to see whether it is possible for some system to be devised whereby delivery is made by the next day at the latest. It was claimed by the Secretary of the Geelong Chamber of Commerce and Manufactures that on one occasion mails posted in London within 24 hours of mails posted in Melbourne to Geelong were delivered at almost the same time in the Geelong area. This could well be an isolated case. I imagine it is. But there is ample evidence that serious delays have been occurring. I ask the Postmaster-General to take note of this and ask that some form of reorganisation be carried out to ensure that delivery of mail on which business and commerce depend so much will be reliable and as speedy as is humanly possible.

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