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Wednesday, 13 November 1974
Page: 2340

Senator MILLINER (Queensland) - I have great sympathy for what Senator Lawrie has said tonight. I think it is appalling that anywhere in Australia one should have to contemplate waiting until the year 2000 before one can have some continuous service. I am also disturbed by the fact that people cannot have telephones installed in their homes, and in some cases in their businesses, as expeditiously as they would like. But I remind the Senate that this situation is not peculiar to the last 2 years. It has been going on for as long as I can remember. In fact I remember Senator Lawrie quite rightly raising this matter when his own Party was in power. He spoke for at least a quarter of an hour on the Estimates and listed the number of people in Queensland who could not get a telephone installed in their homes.

It is all very well to say that this should be done, but if it should be done today why should it not have been done in the last 23 years? After all is said and done, since the Australian Labor Party has been in Government we have on all occasions been told that inflation is the whole problem in Australian and no unnecessary expenses should be incurred. So whilst I have the utmost sympathy for the views expressed by Senator Lawrie, I suggest that not all the ills have come about in the last 2 years. There was plenty of opportunity prior to the Australian Labor Party taking office for the Post Office to remedy what Senator Lawrie now says are defects. I sympathise with him but I ask all concerned to recall that this situation has been going on for many years. Senator Lawrie himself has complained bitterly at Estimates Committees when I have been in attendance about the lack of communication for the people of Australia, particularly those in Queensland, who want telephones installed. I remind honourable senators that this situation has not come about just in the last 2 years.

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