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Tuesday, 9 May 1972
Page: 1417

Senator NEGUS (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I preface my question to the Minister representing the Postmaster-General by stating that in the 1970 Budget debate the Postmaster-General said that the Commonwealth would become progressively responsible for the maintenance of new and existing telephone services within a 15-mile radius of all rural telephone exchanges. In Beverley, Western Australia, there are 7 subscribers on a 9- mile run which, incidentally, was erected by them at their own expense. Two of these subscribers are bush fire control officers who have been told by the Postmaster-General's Department in that district -

The PRESIDENT - Order! The honourable senator must ask his question. I can allow some latitude, but giving information is not permissible.

Senator NEGUS - This is my question: Will the Minister look into this matter with a view to having the Department put these lines in good condition at its expense, so that the subscribers can use their telephones?

Senator GREENWOOD (VICTORIA) (Attorney-General) - I am sure that the Senate will be gratified to know that the Postmaster-General has recovered from his operation and is back in the House of Representatives. 1 am once again representing him in this place. 1 am quite sure that he will examine the matters to which the honourable senator has referred. The honourable senator has indicated that a policy was enunciated by the Postmaster-General. The Postmaster-General's Department will take care to ensure that that policy is put into effect. 1 assure the honourable senator that, if he takes up this matter directly with the Postmaster-General, there will be expeditious treatment of these problems.

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