A "horrible" unpaid phone bill landed a local man in court, The Canberra Times reported on this day 47 years ago.
The Commonwealth sued Harold Joseph Sweeney, of Rivett for not paying a $687.70 phone bill.
Mr Sweeney appeared before Mr Pearson SM, in Canberra Petty sessions, however, the hearing was adjourned to a later date to call expert witnesses.
The bill was for a telephone service connected on February 6, 1971, at a house in Pearce, and cancelled nine months later, when Mr Sweeney moved.
In court, Mr Sweeney said it was "a horrible bill" and a "fantastic amount of money".
He said his was wife was at home most of the time and they were the only ones who used the telephone. He could not prove the bill was wrong.
Mr JM Buxton, from Deputy Crown Solicitor's Office, said checks on Mr Sweeney's telephone had shown that it was functioning properly. He agreed that the registration of 41 calls a day every day seemed excessive.
Mr Pearson said Mr Sweeny would have to show that the machine had been malfunctioning and until he did, he was liable to pay the bill.