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Wednesday, 23 August 1972
Page: 550

Mr WHITLAM (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the PostmasterGeneral a question about the interruptions from outside the House which repeatedly marred the parliamentary broadcast between 8 o'clock and 9 o'clock last night. I emphasise that they were interruptions from outside the House. How does the Minister explain the incredible circumstance that 2 such experienced Commonwealth agencies as the Australian Broadcasting Commission and his Department were unable to discover or rectify promptly a fault in communications - such long standing and well tried communications - from the national capital?

Sir ALAN HULME (PETRIE, QUEENSLAND) (Postmaster-General) - Just before I came into the House today the General Manager of the Australian Broadcasting Commission indicated to me that there had been difficulty last night. I was not here and knew nothing about it until he spoke to me. I understand that recently - the Leader of the Opposition perhaps will recollect this if he has been looking at other programmes relayed between Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney recently - there have been interruptions and the Post Office staff has had difficulty in finding just where the trouble lies and in being able to correct it. It is believed that the trouble is somewhere associated with the Sydney South Telephone Exchange, but it is not always possible for technicians to locate and correct these problems quickly.

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