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Wednesday, 28 April 1971

Senator GREENWOOD - On 1st April 1971, Senator McManus asked me the following question:

Is it a fact, as stated in the Financial Review' of 25th March, that the Post Office is considering cuts in the discount handling of registered papers and periodicals which in 1969-70 amounted to 150 million articles? Furthermore, is a statement in the same newspaper that the senior management of the Australian Post Office has recommended that the service of discount handling of registered papers and periodicals be discontinued correct? Is it correct, as further stated in the article, that the PostmasterGeneral has recommended this action to the Government?

The PostmasterGeneral has now furnished me with the following information in reply:

Registered newspapers and periodicals, which still pay as little as onesixth of normal printed matter postage rates, incur the Postal Service in a $7m loss. Last year 7,600 publications posted 158 million copies.

In the course of recent meetings between postal management and various organisations which were affected by last year's postage rate increases, this continuing loss has been discussed, including possible ways of reducing it. Among these possibilities was the cessation of further registrations of publications into Categories A and B. Existing registered publications would not be affected. There are other possibilities also and the discussions are continuing. No recommendations have yet been formulated.

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