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Wednesday, 12 December 1973
Page: 2694

Senator GAIR (QUEENSLAND) - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Postmaster-General. Is the Minister aware that under new regulations brought in by the present Government, people who wish to have their mail re-addressed, even temporarily, have to pay a special fee of $ 1 a month? Does the Minister realise that this new impost is a severe hardship on some people, particularly pensioners who might leave their homes for one or two months to live with the families of their sons or daughters for the school holidays, etc? Will the Minister ask his colleague to investigate the possibility of removing this re-address fee, which is a hardship on these people, from all needy groups of people in the community?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am aware that under the new regulations brought in by this Government which were included in a White Paper that I presented to the Senate on behalf of the Postmaster-General a re-address fee is charged by the Department. I just cannot say immediately whether it is $ 1 a month but I assume that what the honourable senator says is correct. I can appreciate that there might be some financial difficulties involved in the case of pensioners, the category to which the honourable senator refers. But in the main, the provision, as I understand it, was introduced because a number of businessmen were using this facility in the course of their business operations, travelling throughout Australia and abroad. I shall certainly refer part of the question to the PostmasterGeneral to see whether there can be some amelioration of the problem as it affects needy groups of people.

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