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Territorian's footy viewing held hostage by Government



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Media Release Warren Snowdon Australian Labor Party

MEMBER FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY

18 March 1999

Territorian’s footy viewing held hostage by Government

Labor’s Federal member Warren Snowdon today said the Government had stooped to a new low by making the provision of funding enabling remote communities to watch AFL on television conditional to the sale of the next tranche o f Telstra.

“This is an unforgivable trick by the Government,” Mr Snowdon said,

“The Government is threatening the Senate that if it doesn’t allow through the next tranche o f 16.6% o f Telstra, Territorians living in remote communities will not get to watch the football and other programs.

“The Government has the responsibility to provide the appropriate technology to Australian citizens so they have access to the services which are afforded to other citizens, not to hang the deal on the sale o f Telstra,” Mr Snowdon said,

“Most Australians love their football - and most Australians get to watch their football.

“Territorians living in remote communities are obviously different, pawns in some political game played out by an out-of-touch Government.

“Communications Minister Senator Alston in his media release o f today refers specifically to the fact that through changes in technology 'these communities may also lose programs they have previously received, such as telecasts ofparticular football codes and other sport events

“This is the latest example o f the Government’s complete neglect o f regional Australia.

“Whether it is the GST, the full sale o f Telstra, or its policies on health insurance ... the Government policies will without doubt harm regional Australia,” Mr Snowdon said.

“The Government has no policy for the provision o f services to Australians, unless of course Telstra is sold.

"And we know what that full sale would mean to those Australians living in remote regions.

“I call on the CLP’s Senator to speak out against this Government policy which would have such an impact on his constituents,” M r Snowdon said.

Ends

Contact: Tony Haritos 08-8945 7400, 0417 804 878

Warren Snowdon: 08-8952 4347,0419 626 601 Darwin PO Box 40100 Casuarina Northern Territory 0811 Phone: 08-89457400 Fax 8945 9899 Alice Springs, Phone: 8952 9696 Fax: 8952 5922