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Media Release
Senator Ian Campbell
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministers for the Environment, Sport, Territories, and Local Government

594km of Fax Paper Highlights
Environmental Merit of Telstra Sale


Thursday, 11th July, 1996

"Failure to partially privatise Telstra will not only put the Government’s $1.15 billion environment package at risk, but also encourage unfriendly environmental practices to continue,"; Senator Ian Campbell said today.

Speaking at a planning conference in Adelaide this morning, Senator Campbell said he had been advised that recent changes by Telstra to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Weather Infofax service will cost users an additional $1 million and waste two million sheets of paper each year.

"This equates to a fax paper trail of almost 594 km,"; Senator Campbell said.

"The Bureau of Meteorology has offered an Infofax service since 1993 through Telstra, which provides up-to-date detailed weather information. Those who typically use the service include those involved in: agriculture, aviation, navigation, fishing, sport and recreation and the media."

Senator Campbell said that the Bureau of Meteorology’s Infofax service has received three million calls since 1993 and currently about 160,000 per month.

"The Bureau of Meteorology has been told by Telstra that from Monday 8th July, they are required to send a cover sheet with each transmission."

All necessary transmission details have been previously provided on a single-line header across the top of the weather information page.

"A one page cover sheet added to each transmission will waste almost two million sheets of paper each year."

Senator Campbell has been advised that the users of the service will have to meet the additional transmission costs of an estimated $1 million per year.

"Inefficient enterprises of any size are bad for the environment, they waste both human and physical resources. An enterprise the size of Telstra that is inefficient wastes massive amounts of these resources."

"Waste and inefficiencies such as these, can and will be significantly reduced through the partial privatisation of Telstra," Senator Campbell said.

"Private sector influence in Telstra would inject greater efficiency awareness and encourage more effective resource management."

For further information, please contact Mark Elliot on (06) 277 3955 or 0419 238 747

Commonwealth of Australia