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Tuesday, 12 September 1972
Page: 736

Senator DRURY (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, upon notice:

(1)   What will be the cost to the PostmasterGeneral's Department of acquiring the Telmar medical radio paging service and what action has been taken to ensure that people who have already bought such units will not be inconvenienced upon changeover.

(2)   What are the reasons for the Department acquiring the Telmar system.

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

(1)   The gross cost is $285,000 less approximately $22,000 which the Company has collected in advance from subscribers. The people who have bought Telmar units should not be inconvenienced as the service arrangements will continue as before and the Telmar equipment will not be withdrawn from service without careful consideration being given to the effect on individual customers.

(2)   It is considered that radio paging is a facility which the Post Office should provide as part of the overall public telecommunications services and it has been planning for some time to extend the service progressively to all States using modern equipment with pocket-sized pagers. The plan is for the Post Office to provide nationally integrated base stations with commercial organisations undertaking provision of the paging units themselves. The Telmar system is being acquired to ensure the continuance of service to the existing subscribers with the present equipment and to facilitate their eventual transfer to the new equipment.

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