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Thursday, 15 May 1969

Senator Dame ANNABELLE RANKIN -On 18th March 1969, Senator Webster asked me the following question:

Is the Minister representing the PostmasterGeneral aware of the importance to rural cities of a twice daily postal service? Does not the Minister recognise the disadvantage of country business and administration compared wilh the relatively easy access and cheap telephone costs of metropolitan based industry? Will the Government give immediate consideration to a request to re-establish the two mail deliveries system as it applied previously in certain country areas? If not, will the Government give immediate consideration to making communication costs an even charge throughout the community?

The Postmaster-General has now furnished me with the following information in reply:

The importance of a satisfactory postal service to rural cities is fully appreciated and this is achieved under once daily delivery conditions.

To provide a satisfactory postal service, the general standard has been adopted whereby letters posted by the appropriate closing time are delivered next day in and between capital cities and the larger centres of population, including provincial centres. To assist in achieving this standard, small or medium size letter form mail is conveyed by air, without additional surcharge, wherever earlier delivery will result. In many instances, the use of air transport achieves next day delivery in country areas, which compares favourably with the standard achieved in the capital cities. In other circumstances, the use of surface transport achieves this standard.

The principles now applying to the delivery of mail take into account the need for business and commercial organisations to receive their mail as early as possible, and main business areas are given priority in delivery over residential areas. The private box facility is available for those who wish to obtain their mail earlier, as private box mail is normally available early each morning and again in the afternoon on week days.

As the new arrangements provide a reasonable standard of postal service, .it is not proposed to re-establish the twice daily delivery of mail in country areas.

The policy on uniform communications charges was answered in some detail in reply to Senator Webster's question No. 963 on 18th March 1969, and this policy has not changed.

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