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Tuesday, 27 March 1973
Page: 677

Mr COLLARD (KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is addressed to the Postmaster-General. Is it correct that approximately 300 official post offices are to be declassified to non-official status? If so, why has this been found necessary? Will such action in any way destroy career opportunities of existing postmasters and other Post Office employees? Will it mean a denigration of Post Office services to any sections of the community?

Mr Lionel Bowen (KINGSFORD-SMITH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - There are the usual problems associated with the Post Office in that my predecessor was always talking about the number of closures he was forced to implement. Honourable members will have noticed that in February 1972 the then PostmasterGeneral referred to the fact that he had been closing post offices at an average rate of about 200 a year. I have before me a submission made by the Postmaster-General's Department on what action should be taken in regard to a number of official post offices. This matter requires a lot of consideration. I must also take into account the fact that a royal commission into the Post Office is pending. There has never been a case where career opportunities have been affected by the closure of post offices. It follows, of course, that with the advent of what might be termed growth centres further career opportunities should open up. It follows also that many post offices should be relocated and that many non-official post offices should be upgraded to official status. If that policy is implemented and encouraged, it should also follow that there will be no denigration or limitation of career opportunities.

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