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Industry policy in turmoil on Aussat dithering

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JULIAN BEALE, M.H.R. Federal Member for Bruce

Shadow Minister for Privatisation


March 13, 1991


Industry policy has been thrown into turmoil once again by Government dithering on the privatisation of Aussat, the Federal Member for Bruce and Shadow Minister for Privatisation,

Julian Beale, said today.

The future of Aussat comes up before Cabinet yet again this week.

To complicate the issue its future is now tied in with the

introduction of pay television.

Yet the Government refuses to come clean with the Parliament on the true level of Aussat's debt.

One industry source now claims that Aussat has outstanding losses of more than $600 million because of Government delays and mismanagement.

Confusion about the state of its debt and doubts about the

existence of buyers meant that Aussat had to be left out of the Prime Minister's much-touted industry statement yesterday.

The Government should come clean with the Parliament and the people on these questions: s ’ -

- Does it have any serious purchasers in mind for a

privatised Aussat?

- What is the real state of the organisation's debt?

- Is the introduction of pay television to be linked to the future of Aussat?

- Is the privatisation of Aussat to be a money-raising

exercise or an attempt to establish an efficient and

profitable Australian telecommunications industry?

One day after the industry statement the Federal Cabinet is completely confused on these important issues for this industry?

The handling of Aussat does not create a climate of confidence for the Government's other privatisation efforts.


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