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Thursday, 30 September 2010
Page: 330

Ms SAFFIN (1:46 PM) —Two days ago, all honourable members would have received by email an invitation to join Telstra’s CEO, David Thodey, and chair, Catherine Livingstone, for cocktails at a function booked here on 18 October. My reply to them was as follows: ‘I do not want cocktails; I just want you to save the 108 jobs of the workers at the Grafton call centre which you announced two days ago you are about to axe.’ As well, Telstra told those workers that it would be from 23 November—just before Christmas.

There is widespread community support to keep the jobs there. I got a petition going and everybody joined in: the state member, the federal member for Richmond beside me, the member for Cowper, the member for Lyne and others. There were 5,920 signatures on the petition, which we got in the Grafton community. Two local people, Shirley and John Adams, sat all week and got those signatures. Now the mayors are also joining with us to make sure that we say, ‘Hang up on Telstra.’ If they want to hang up on us in the country and desert us in regional Australia then we will desert them. We spend a lot of money with Telstra and this is just no way to act. There is a whole lot more action coming. The fight to save the jobs of the 108 workers is not over yet.