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Government retreats from postal promise.



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MEDIA RELEASE

LINDSAY TANNER MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS

GOVERNMENT RETREATS FROM POSTAL PROMISE

In a slap in the face for Australian voters, the Howard Government is starting to retreat from its election commitment to establish a postal industry ombudsman.

In a discussion paper released today, the Government announced a possible alternative policy of industry self-regulation. The paper states that “businesses in these areas may be conducive to self-regulation”. Furthermore, “postal operators themselves decide whether any customer service issues exist”.

The Government is clearly backing away from its promise to establish a postal industry ombudsman. It wants to introduce a version of ‘self regulation’.

The Howard Government’s communications policies are unravelling. The Government promised not to sell Telstra until regional services improve. The 2002 Budget and Peter Costello’s comments just yesterday show the Government is determined to sell Telstra from next July.

Since the election, prices for telephone services have risen dramatically and now postage stamps are going up. The only communications outcomes for Australians from John Howard’s re-election are higher prices and poorer services.

October 31, 2002

For further information contact Lindsay Tanner or Peter van Vliet on (03) 9347 5000 or 0408 188 055.