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Thursday, 31 August 1972
Page: 603

Senator WILKINSON (Western Australia) - I express my. appreciation for this report on the content, form and presentation of the information section of telephone directories. I want to ask a question which perhaps Senator Laucke as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Social Environment may be able to answer. Of course the terms of reference of the Committee were directed towards the content, form and presentation of the information section of telephone directories. When this inquiry was first envisaged I was of the opinion that the Committee was being requested - I must admit that I did not look very closely at the terms of reference - to look at the whole question of the presentation of the telephone directory and not only the information section. I admit from reading the terms of reference that apparently this was not intended. Senator Byrne felt that a lot of people whom he knew were frustrated. He was surprised that no request had come from these people to the Committee for its consideration.

I wondered why there had been a splitting up of the directories in a number of the smaller States. This meant extra printing, extra cost and more inaccessibility of telephone numbers and ' information because there was no reference' to other areas in the State. This seemed to be unnecessary. I do not know what the situation is in Tasmania. I think it would be even much worse than the situation in Western Australia. In Western Australia the 5 directories now take up twice the space taken by the original directory. The pink pages are repeated considerably in each of the issues which refer to the various sections of the State. I am surprised that this matter did not come in to the Committee's consideration at all. As this was not in the terms of reference I concede that the Chairman might have ruled the matter out had any witness tried to introduce it. I am interested to know whether an attempt was made by any of the witnesses to express some dissatisfaction, with the fact that the directory had been cut up into a number of sections. I think that this is an area which should have been looked at. Had I noticed at the time that this was not included in the terms of reference I would have tried to have the terms of reference amended. Perhaps Senator Laucke may be able to give me this information.

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