Telephone Referrals

07 Jul 2005 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Industry and Trade a question about telephone referrals.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: On Monday 27 June—a day many in this chamber will never forget—I asked a question of the Minister for Industry and Trade in relation to phone calls that are being directed to his office through no fault of his own but through a mistake in the telephone directory, which lists my telephone number as 8303 2500. I stated in my question that I had received a couple of complaints from constituents who tried to contact me. They had dialled the number, but the staff were reluctant, or unaware, and not very helpful. The minister replied, ‘I suggest the honourable member writes a letter on it, or put a question on notice.’ The following day (28 June), Mrs S. tried to contact me. She eventually got through to Parliament House and to one of the assistants, who sent me an email to convey her message to me. The email stated, ‘Mrs S. rang to speak to you or Lauren,’ my assistant, ‘about a matter of gross inequity in the disability area’. Somebody had suggested that I might be able to assist her.

Mrs S. said that she had rung the White Pages number first, but the man who answered had no idea who Michelle Lensink was and then took ages to find the number. He eventually came back with the Parliament House number. She said that he was very unhelpful and was aged about 40 plus.

Finally, Mrs S. said, ‘Who is Paul Holloway anyway?’ and was astounded when I told her all his portfolios. She then commented, ‘You’d think that a member of the Legislative Council’s minister’s staff would know the names of other Legislative Council members,’ and I was asked to ring her about a disability matter. My questions are:

1. Will the minister instruct his staff that there has been an error in the telephone book and that my number is 8237 9434?

2. Does he still expect me to write him a letter or put the question on notice before the matter will be rectified or before I get a reply?

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY (Minister for Industry and Trade): I can inform the honourable member that my office manager has been asked to advise all staff to forward calls for the Hon. Michelle Lensink directly through to her office on the telephone number she provided. I trust they would do that courteously, as I expect they would deal with all incoming telephone calls.