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Alston says extraordinary Ziggy is entitled to special mobile dish.



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M E D I A S T A T E M E N T

Senator Stephen Conroy Deputy Opposition Leader in the Senate Acting Shadow Minister for Communications

ALSTON SAYS EXTRAORDINARY ZIGGY IS ENTITLED TO SPECIAL MOBILE DISH

Senator Alston today defended Telstra boss, Ziggy Switkowski, who had his very own special microcell mobile phone receiving device installed in his Toorak property late last year.

In Parliament today, Senator Alston said that Dr Switkoski’s role as Telstra boss entitled him to receive this extraordinary special treatment:

“You cannot pretend that somehow Dr Switkowski, as the CEO of pretty much the largest company in Australia, is just an ordinary citizen.” Senator Alston, Hansard, 18/11/02.

As far as the Government is concerned it’s one rule for extraordinary citizens such as Ziggy and another rule for everybody else.

Mobile phone customers in rural Australia who have to travel to nearby hills or towns to get mobile coverage will be infuriated with this special treatment for the Telstra boss.

The Estens report received around 300 submissions from the public concerning mobile phone coverage. Will these people be getting special mobile phone cells installed in their back yards to overcome their mobile coverage problems—don’t bet on it!

Telstra has stated that Toorak has mobile reception problems—but so does around 80% of the Australian land mass.

Telstra should explain to the Australian public who gets these microcell mobile phone dishes and what Telstra charges to install them.

Senator Alston’s defence of Dr Switkowski’s unjustified perk shows just how out of touch this Government has become.

November 18, 2002

Further information: Stephen Conroy: 0418 383 965