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Communications portfolio stagnates



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SENATOR AUSTIN LEWIS DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATK SENATE

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"The Communications portfolio has stagnated under the leadership of Mr Ralph W i l l i s " according to the Shadow Minister for Communications, Senator Austin Lewis.

"Mr Willis has been in the job for less than a year and it appears that the micro-economic reform of government business enterprises under his control has ground to a halt.

"At a time when there are calls for micro-economic reform in a mini-budget, Mr Willis seems more concerned with delaying decisions rather than taking the decisive action necessary for economic recovery.

"This is best characterised in the area of pay and cable television.

"The Government's report on pay television tabled in Parliament this week was a disappointing anticlimax. It made no new contribution to debate on the issue and revealed that the only issues that need to be resolved are purely political.

"The report was just an exercise in buying time. The review into pay TV was announced in April last year and was due three months later. Instead, the report wasn't tabled until this week and Mr Willis has made it clear that a decision won't be made on the subject for another six months.

"The Minister knows full well what decision should be made - the moratorium on pay TV should be lifted immediately.

"The same applies to other areas of the Communications portfolio.

"No reform of the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal's wasteful and unnecessary regulation has occurred, nor is it likely to under Mr Willis.

"With Australia Post all the Government can suggest is the closure of country post offices. The establishment of Austel will be delayed by the failure to appoint a Chairman.

"Like this Government, Mr Willis should go," Senator Lewis said.

3 March 1989.

Further informations Gerard Wheeler 77 3205.

Phone (062) 77 3135 Fax (062) 77 3169