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Rocky ride for new Telstra executive -

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(generated from captions) One of Telstra's top new American executives has earned a rebuke from the Federal Government for publicly complaining about the amount of regulation clamped on the company. Phil Burgess has claimed that if Australia's approach to telecommunications had applied elsewhere across the world, technology wouldn't have progressed beyond smoke signals

and the telegraph. But, as Greg Jennett reports, the Communications Minister Helen Coonan has told the new team at the top of Telstra to stop complaining and get on with running the business.

In North Queensland, an old tin can, in a phone booth stripped bare had Kim Beazley talking about future-proofing, and the past. It brings me right back to my childhood. (Laughs) The Labor leader's telling regional Australia to expect more of the same, when full privatisation goes ahead. When we look at the newses today, what we see abundantly clearly is this. Once privatised, as far as the senior leadership of Telstra will be concerned regional Australia's off the map. He's talking about Telstra's second-in-charge, Phil Burgess,

a member of the American leadership team brought in by Sol Trujillo complaining about government regulation

and the company's duty to guarantee services in the bush. Mr Burgess says technology wouldn't have developed past smoke signals and the telegraph if other countries had a regime like Australia's. Adding: What you heard from the second-in-charge is the sort of thing you'd expect of a responsible manager running a fully privatised company. What's his job? His job is to make profit for the shareholders. What happens to people in out of the way places is neither here nor there as far as he is concerned.

But Telstra's biggest shareholders have heard about enough from the company's free-wheeling managers. This new American team needs to get on with the operational side

of Telstra and stop complaining

about the regulation. We're not running communications policy to suit Telstra, we're running communications policy to suit the people of Australia. And the best way you help the people of Australia is to have competition.

Senator Coonan says Telstra's healthy profits undermine Mr Burgess' argument that the company is hard done by. Greg Jennett, Lateline.