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Thursday, 31 October 1912

Senator FINDLEY (VICTORIA) (Ministerwithout portfolio) - The Deputy PostmasterGeneral at Brisbane has furnished the following information -

1.   The article in the Townsville Bulletin was submitted to this office by postmaster with a full report, and the matter was reported on here.

2.   On the night of the 10th October three important northern circuits, including the Townsville direct line mere interrupted after 6 p.m. ; one came ritht at 9 p.m., but business was already greatly congested and had to be diverted viâ Bowen. Townsville business (ordinary and press) consequently suffered some delay, but all was clear by 3.50 a.m. nth. The delay in delivery of Bulletin message was due to that office failing to send a messenger for same after 2.30 a.m. ; messages thus awaited delivery by telegraph . messenger at 8.45 a.m. During August there was no delay, Townsville traffic being clear at 3 a.m., usual hour. During September and beginning October delay occurred several nights owing to heavy storms and high winds causing line interruptions, but on every occasion everything possible was done to expedite press. The Bulletin messenger rarely calls after 2.30 a.m., and possibly this accounts for delay complained of.

3.   Donaldson and Wyandotte stations have been closed. These stations were established for line repairing purposes. Very little revenue is derived from either, and no residents within many miles of each. Itwas found practicable to make other satisfactory arrangements forline work, and consequently there was no justification for continuing to maintain repairing stations at heavy expense and 'no necessity for . offices from Public point of view. .

4.   It has been approved to close the tate office also but action is not yet complete. The same conditions apply as in the other cases mentioned.

5.   Under normal conditions lines are sufficient to carry the traffic with reasonable despatch without payment of urgent rate, but owing to frequent interruptions alternative circuits are necessary between Brisbane and Rockhampton, Rockhampton and Townsville, Bowen and Townsville. First-mentioned work' is placed on this year's Estimates of Expenditure, and it is proposed to make provision for other two next financial year. Whealstone working Brisbane to Townsville is under consideration, and when this is installed handling of Northern traffic should be greatly facilitated.

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