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Telstra Sale Support -

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(generated from captions) being more successful first time

around and that is what these

centres are about

Thank you Anne. John Howard's task of selling off the remainder of Telstra is now a whole lot tougher. At the weekend, the Queensland Nationals put five conditions on their support for the sell-off. One is that a significant trust fund is set up to meet the cost of future services in the bush. So is the sale ever likely to happen? Let's ask Queensland Nationals Senator, Barnaby Joyce, whose support will be crucial for the sell-off. Good morning. Do you believe the sale will ultimately go through?

Mel it all depends whether they

take these conditions seriously. We

have had through unanimous

resolution a statement that gives

us we hope partive service and

price into the future and it asks

for a significant trust fund and

the ability not only to have the

diagnostic tools of telling where

service are not up to scratch but

the power to be able to remedy them,

ask for Telstra Countrywide to

remain in regional areas and

untimed local calls, price party.

It is saying no matter where you

live in this country that

communications is a vital part of

infrastructure and it is a right

and we must make sure that we do

not disenfranchise people in

corners of our nation avenue vital right

But if the Government comes through

on these conditions it is still not

Ghan need that you will support

them, is it? You are still reserving judgment snfrplgts there

is a whole range of things. We

talked about significant trust

funds and if someone comes up with

an amount of money that will not

cover it they might have put in

place a trust fund but it may not

do the job therefore we couldn't support It how do you determine

what that is? I have heard figures

from $2 million mentioned by Mark

Vaile up to $5 billion. Who will

decide what will be a significant amount?

The people with the expertise and

the technical capacity to be able

to say "How big will this trust

fund be to provide party of service

and price into the future between

regional and metropolitan

Australia?" I don't have those

capabilities. I know from the

technicians I talk to it is quite a

number of multiple billion dollar

trust fund we will be looking at.

What we have to do is get the

people together and see what they

come up with and when they come up

with that number we have to stick with it

When will all this be done? This

has been talked about for so long

and it is not as though the sell

off of Telstra has appeared

overnight, we have been talking

about it for so long. When do you

think this will be sorted?

It has been a resolution of the

National Party in Queensland, the

party I represent not to sell

Telstra for so long, for that whole

period of time. We have gone to

each election saying this is our

policy on Telstra, not to sell it.

So we haven't changed our position,

it has remained the same and if we

don't get party of service and

price into the future it will

remain as it is. At the last

election as everybody knows the

National Party stood in their own

right in Queensland, we were not on

a joint Senate ticket, a joint Senate ticket, we

a joint Senate ticket, we still

don't have a Coalition in

Queensland, we look forward to it

but we don't have won

You have spoken out about this and

you have spoken out against the

Government's workplace reforms, and

then with your views then on the

Coalition, so do I see your agenda

as probably more important than the

Coalition's agenda as a whole?

Not at all. People keep on

referring to the 5 pes of things

Mel where the National Party and

the Liberal Party disagree but the

National Party is its own party and

we have our own reason to look at

things and you talked about reform,

it was not just the National Party

or myself that had the krpbs about

the IR reform but the Liberal Party

in Western Australia, the Liberal

Party central council or federal

conference that voted down a

resolution on it and the leader of

the Nationals in Queensland has a

big problem with it because it

invades on states's rights and that

is the job of a Senator. If he is

not there to protect states's

rights they should be in the lower house

You are not the first politician to

say that or Senator and say that or Senator and when say that or Senator and when it

comes down to it we see politicians

voting along party lines. Would

you cross the floor on this issue?

If everybody says they will never

cross the floor you should wheel a

model into the chamber and get it

to stick up its hand as ordered