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Media Release 18 August 2005

Statement by The Nationals Federal Member for Riverina Kay Hull I wish to make clear my position to the people of the Riverina on the full sale of Telstra following the events of Wednesday 17 August in which it was agreed by the Coalition Government to implement a $3.1 billion package and secure the final sale of Telstra.

On the 1st and 2nd August The Nationals Federal Parliamentary Members met in Lismore for our annual think-tank, in which the final sale of Telstra was discussed.

After listening to and discussing many proposals including the Queensland Nationals five point plan, the party members agreed on a course of action. The proposal was primarily the package announced yesterday the 17th August.

At the Lismore meeting, I rose to my feet and advised the members that I would not support the proposal and I would not be voting with them on the sale of Telstra. This was my final position on the debate and it has not and will not change. The Leader of The Nationals and Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile and my colleagues are very well aware of my view that the package on offer does not address the real concerns that I have for the future in telecommunications for the people of the Riverina.

This has been a long running issue thus there have been many party room debates on the sale of Telstra where I have contributed my views on the issues confronting the Riverina and I have consistently announced my opposition to the sale.

I am a National and I congratulate the team on being able to negotiate a package on the sale of Telstra that will obviously assist in addressing some of the concerns in country telecommunications however I cannot and will not support this package for the sale of Telstra in any forum.

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For further information contact Katie Brunskill on 02 6921 4600 or 0428 214 600.