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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 406


Mr Les McMahon (SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Post and Telecommunications, upon notice, on 26 March 1980:

Has his attention been drawn to recent press reports and recommendations that public telephones be cleaned regularly to maintain hygiene and prevent the spread of infection; if so, will extra staff be employed for this purpose.


Mr Staley - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Telecom Australia has advised that it arranges for the cleaning of public telephone cabinets and instruments (using an approved disinfectant) on a contract basis. Where public telephones are located on Post Office premises they are cleaned and inspected on a daily basis by Australia Post staff. Public telephones in other locations are cleaned and inspected by private contractors to Telecom Australia who are required to visit each installation at least once every seven days. Where conditions make it necessary, e.g. heavy usage or location in a dusty area, installations are to be inspected, cleaned and disinfected more frequently. Contractors are also required to promptly undertake special additional cleanings of cabinets which are reported seriously fouled. Coin clearance officers visit public telephones on a regular basis and their duties include the inspection of the telephones and cabinet to ensure that the cleaning contractors are performing their work satisfactorily.

The combination of the visits for cleaning and coin clearance functions means that public telephones in locations other than Post Offices are visited a minimum of twice weekly. Those which have a high usage rate and/or are situated where conditions dictate more frequent cleaning are visited three or more times weekly.

Telecom considers the arrangements outlined are adequate to ensure a satisfactory standard of cleanliness for public telephone installations.







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