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Tuesday, 4 March 1980
Page: 489

Senator CHANEY -On 27 February, Senator Lewis asked me a question relating to the proposed construction of an eight-storey building for Telecom Australia in Perth. I now have an answer provided by the Minister for Post and Telecommunications (Mr Staley). I seek leave to have it incorporated in the Hansard.

Leave granted.

The document read as follows-

Senator Lewis asked: 'Did Telecom, the authority, discuss this proposal with the Minister before a decision was made to erect the building?'

There were no specific discussions between Telecom and the Minister for Post and Telecommunications in relation to this project. It is a normal course, however, for Telecom to seek the approval of the Minister before letting contracts of this nature (the Telecommunications Act 1975 requires the Commission to seek the approval of the Minister for contracts with a value in excess of $500,000;. The Minister gave approval for the contract in question in December 1 979.

By way of further general information, I am able to advise the Senate that the proposed building is intended to permit Telecom to centralise the bulk of its head office administrative activities in one location. At present, staff are located in a number of buildings in the Perth central business district and the savings in time in the movement of correspondence and personnel are expected to be significant. A funder saving will occur from the removal of the need for the duplication of facilities such as Conference Rooms, Libraries, staff amenities and other common areas.

It is not expected that the concentration of clerical/administrative staff in the one location will generate problems of the nature which have occurred in the Redfern Mail Exchange in Sydney or lead to particular problems from the point of view of Defence.

For all the reasons given above, it is considered that the Telecommunications Commission's decision to locate its State Head Office Administration in one building is supportable.

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