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Thursday, 11 May 1972
Page: 2520

Dr J F Cairns (LALOR, VICTORIA) asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice:

(1)   What rates are charged for telephone calls from Victorian country areas to Melbourne.

(2)   How are the different rates determined.

(3)   Has consideration been given to any different basis for arriving at charges which may result in lower charges.

(4)   If not, will he give consideration to a basis for arriving at charges which would result in lower costs.

Sir Alan Hulme - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(I)   The charges made for operator-connected telephone calls from Victorian country areas to Melbourne are in accordance with the following scale:-


STD calls on the other hand are charged in multiples of the local call fee of 4.75 cents, the charge being dependent on the duration of the call and the distance over which it is made. The amount of time which can be bought for the equivalent of one local call fee varies from 45 seconds down to 4 seconds between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and from 60 seconds down to 5 seconds between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m.

(2)   The scale of charges for trunk calls, approved by the Government, is designed to ensure acceptable revenue earnings overall, having regard to the costs of providing, extending, operating and maintaining the telephone network. Charges for calls in the different mileage steps recognize the feature that costs are related to distance.

(3)   Yes. In fact a study is currently being made of the implications of having a uniform rate for all telephone calls or, alternatively, a uniform rate for all trunk calls. The study is nearing completion. Any announcement about the results of the study will be a matter for decision by the Government.

(4)   See (3) above.

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