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Wednesday, 13 September 1972
Page: 806

Senator TOWNLEY asked the Minister representing the Postmaster-General, upon notice:

(1)   What are the likely dates of delivery of telephone directories to subscribers, for subscriber trunk dialling areas coded 002, 003 and 004.

(2)   Will the Postmaster-General reconsider whether there is a need for 3 telephone directories for use in the State of Tasmania.

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

(1)   Area Code 002: Week commencing 15th October 1972. Area Code 003: Week commencing 17th September 1972. Area Code 004: Week commencing 12th November 1972.

(2)   The decision to restructure the former State-wide Tasmanian telephone directory was taken following a study of telephone usage which showed that the areas covered by many directories were much larger than required to meet the needs of the majority of the users of the directories. It was clearly indicated that directories of a more local character would generally meet subscribers' requirements adequately.

Against this background,the cost of continuing to supply every telephone subscriber with a directory containing entries for areas with which there was little or no community of interest could not be justified, particularly when the majority of calls made by telephone users generally are to subscribers within their own particular district.

Importantly, too, the changes made are a step towards orienting directory presentation to subscribers' needs under Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) conditions. In this regard, the extension of the automatic trunk network is based on each State being divided into a number of areas called closed number areas', with each area being identified by its own STD code. Subscribers making STD calls into such an area prefix the subscriber's number with the appropriate code, whereas calls between subscribers withinthe area involve dialling the subscriber's number only. In Tasmania, there are 3 such 'closed number areas' and each of the 3 current telephone directories covers its own 'closed number' area.

Although it is not proposed to revert to the former practice of issuing one telephone directory for the Slate of Tasmania as a whole, arrangements have been made for subscribers having a need for a directory covering an area other their local one to obtain such books free of charge. The local Postmaster can assist in this regard.

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