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PM must pull Telstra into line.



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Chris Hayes MP Federal Member for Werriwa

September 14, 2006

PM MUST PULL TELSTRA INTO LINE

Member for Werriwa Chris Hayes has called on the Prime Minister to pull Telstra into line over the price gouging and bully boy tactics that it is using on local schools.

“This is the ugly face of a privatised Telstra.

“As I understand it the schools were signed up to a special deal because they were non profit organisations and now they are being threatened with higher line rental charges if they don’t agree to have all their services provided by Telstra”, Mr Hayes said.

“This is John Howard’s fault and as Federal Government is still Telstra’s majority shareholder John Howard should be stepping in and put a stop to this bully boy behaviour”, he said.

“School budgets should be dedicated to buying books, for reading programs or for sports and playground equipment and not for higher phone charges”, he said.

Mr Hayes said that he was concerned that this was a sign of things to come for all non profit organisations.

“The privatisation of Telstra means that it will stop at nothing to make sure that it maximises its market share and I am deeply concerned that this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes non profit organisations”, he said.

“Who will be next? Today it is schools; tomorrow it could be community groups, churches or the local police boys club.

“John Howard has to step in and stop this nonsense before it gets out of hand”, Mr Hayes said.

“Telstra should not be allowed to get away with bully boy and stand over tactics.

“The Prime Minister should be stepping in and making sure that Telstra is not exploiting schools and he should be making sure that other non profit organisations are not subjected to the same treatment”, Mr Hayes said.