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Telstra to cut 648 Sensis jobs

Telstra has confirmed that it will cut 648 roles in a restructure of its ailing advertising subsidiary Sensis.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Just a month since announcing that Sensis would acquire online directory company TrueLocal, subject to regulatory approval, Telstra has said that 648 jobs will go from Sensis in a massive restructure of the struggling advertising business.

Sensis' managing director John Allan said the proposal is currently in consultation with unions and staff, and would see Sensis create 50 new roles for a Customer Management Centre, but would result in a cut of 648 of the 3,500 employees within Sensis. The cut roles include 391 back-of-house and customer-care positions, which will be outsourced.

The 24-hour support for the White Pages and Yellow Pages will be outsourced, and there will be a reduction of duplicated senior and middle management, the company said.

Allan said that the restructure would shift Sensis from a print business to a digital business.

"Until now, we have been operating with an outdated print-based model — this is no longer sustainable for us. As we have made clear in the past, we will continue to produce Yellow and White Pages books to meet the needs of customers and advertisers who rely on the printed directories, but our future is online and mobile, where the vast majority of search and directory business takes place," he said in a statement.

Allan said that 60 percent of Sensis' customers already advertise online or through the company's mobile app.

Sensis has struggled to cope with declining advertising revenue, as more Australians turn online to find businesses and other addresses. In the 2011-12 financial year, total revenue for Sensis declined by 16.1 percent to AU$1.5 billion, and Telstra attributed this to the market shift from print to digital advertising quicker than was predicted.

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