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Tuesday, 23 November 1971
Page: 3453

Mr IRWIN (MITCHELL, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Can the Postmaster-General state how the amount of funds provided to the Postmaster-General's Department by the Treasury since federation, namely $2,484,331,130 was arrived at? Does this amount include losses made since the Postmaster-General's Department was established in 1901 or does it represent the assets taken over by the Post Office- when it became a business undertaking? Does it include the 5 years loss of revenue paid to the States from 1901 to 1906?

Sir ALAN HULME (PETRIE, QUEENSLAND) (Postmaster-General) - I am afraid this is a somewhat difficult question to answer in detail during a period of questions without notice. However, I will answer briefly to the effect that early in 1959 the Government set up a committee of 5 people to investigate the capital structure of the Australian Post Office and that committee made a recommendation as to a commencement point in terms of capital at that particular point of time. It was not necessarily the amount of money that had been advanced from the Treasury, less any profits which had been made or money which had been repaid to the Treasury up to that time. It was a new commencement point and, since then, advances by the Treasurer have been shown as part of the capital of the Post Office and any payments that have been made - that is, in terms of profits made - have been deductions from that particular amount, so that the figure which the honourable member first mentioned, which I believe to be approximately correct if not completely correct, would represent the summation of these figures from the time of that independent committee.

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