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Wednesday, 2 May 1973
Page: 1553

Mr MORRIS (SHORTLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Postmaster-General. Has his attention been drawn to the number of disputed telephone accounts in the Newcastle telephone district involving subscriber trunk dialling charges? Is he aware that in the present listings of the Newcastle telephone directory telephone numbers that attract STD charges are not distinguished from local call charge numbers, with the result that direct calls made from Newcastle to places such as Paterson, Cessnock, Dungog and Tea Gardens appear to be local calls but are in fact STD charges. Will he arrange for such numbers to be clearly distinguished from local call charge numbers in the next issue of the Newcastle telephone directory? Will he also arrange for the section on STD charges in the present directory to be enlarged and emphasised so that subscribers to telephone services will be clearly aware of the calls that involve STD charges?

Mr Lionel Bowen (KINGSFORD-SMITH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is true that there has been some confusion as to whether an STD call could be deemed to be a local call in that no warning is given to the person who is making the call. I understand that the Postmaster-General's Department has had under consideration for some time the question whether it should introduce a warning signal. This could well be done at the commencement of such a call. It is true that the Newcastle directory is somewhat confusing and that it is hard to identify what calls are deemed to be STD calls as against local calls. I think the directory could well be organised in a different fashion. I do not know whether that would be feasible in the coming year because the directory may well have been printed. If it is at all possible to reorganise the printing so that .these matters will be more clearly indicated to subscribers I will undertake to do so.

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