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Tuesday, 16 May 1972
Page: 1703

Senator PROWSE (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, upon notice:

Have any, savings been made by separating the Western Australian telephone directory into a metroplitan and several country directories; if so (a) what is the amount of the savings, and (b) is it considered that these savings warrant the inconvenience imposed upon subscribers, as evidenced by their many protests.

Senator GREENWOOD The PostmasterGeneral has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:


(a)   $18,000. This amount is the difference in the expected cost of producing the metropolitan and 5 country telephone directories and an estimate of the expenditure which would have been incurred had the State of Western Australia been covered as a whole by one telephone directory as before. The saving has been achieved notwithstanding the inclusion in each country telephone directory of a fully classified section allowing for each business subscriber to have a free listing under an appropriate classification. Also it was necessary to produce extra copies of the 1971 directories for free issue to subscribers who feel they may have a need for other than their local book. Experience has shown that after the first issue of a restructured directory, many subscribers requesting books for other areas find they have little real need for them. Accordingly, the number of additional copies which needs to be printed for this purpose diminishes significantly with consequent savings in production costs.

(b)   The change would not have been made if it were felt that it would have meant loss of convenience for subscribers generally and it was accepted that some subscribers, because of their calling habits, would have a need for books other than their local one. Therefore, provision was made for subscribers who had such a need to obtain free copies of the required books on request.

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