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Communication workers' union confused over Telstra

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& C O M M O N W F .A I.n I /S I ATH R F .l.A T IO N S


“The scare campaign being launched by the Communication worker’s unions over the Coalition’s partial privatisation of Telstra is either a m atter of clear partisan politics or just plain ignorance.” Bronwyn Bishop, Shadow Minister for Privatisation and Commonwealth/State Relations said today.

"The Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU)'s Mr Colin Cooper has obviouly not read our policy, otherwise he would know that the Coalition has made the full owing undertakings in respect of the partial privatisation of Telstra:

1. T elstra will rem ain A ustralian owned and controlled: u n d e r no circum stances will a L iberal and N ational G overnm ent ev er p e rm it T elstra to be owned or controlled by foreigners;

2. T elstra will n o t be bro k en up;

3, Com m unity Service O bligations will rem ain, to en su re th a t ru ra l and regional A ustralia receive fa ir and equitab le

te le c o m m u n ic a tio n se r v ic e s ;

4, T h e e x is tin g r ig h t to u n tim e d lo c a l te le p h o n e c a lls fo r h o m e a n d b u s in e s s w ill b e m a in ta in e d ;

5. We w;ll offer T elstra em ployees the o p p o rtu n ity to in v est in th e ir com pany, including a offer o f one free sh are for every four sh ares purchased, up to a lim it of 500 free shares;

6. T here will be no fu rth e r sale of T elstra w ith o u t an explicit

m andate given by th e A ustralian people a t a fu tu re fed eral

: election; and

7. A ustralia Post will rem ain in full public ow nership

“Our policy is quite specific:

♦ To offer Australians individuals - mums and dads - Telstra employees, and Australian businesses the opportunity to own a direct stake in our second largest company 21. ..

Parliamentary Office PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA, A.C.T. 2600 TEL. (06) 277 4323 FAX. (06)277 6464

Electorate Office 21 PACIFIC PARADE DEE WHY, N.S.W. 2096 TEL. (02) 8672 2355

FAX. (02) 9972 2366

• Reserve 65% of the one-third float exclusively for Australians with A & B class shares. A class for Australians, B class for foreigners to ensure that there is no accidental slippage into foreign ownership as the Keating Government allowed with Qantas.

• To put in place a strict foreign ownership limit of 35% for the one-third float and that no individual foreign shareholding will be more than 6%,

• Ensure Australians get better, cheaper and more efficient service from a partially privatised Telstra.

"If Mr Cooper and the CEPU are really concerned about the future of Telstra they should ask Paul Keating what his undertakings are for the privatisation of Telstra

"It is Paul Keating who refuses to admit his privatisation plans for Telstra. It is Paul Keating who tried to break it up last year in

attempting to flog off the Yellow Pages. It is Paul Keating who said that it did not m atter if Telstra was publicly or privately owned. It is Paul Keating who has already begun the privatisation of Telstra.

“It was the same Paul Keating who said he would never sell the Commonwealth Bank -- he did. It was the same Paul Keating who said he would never sell Qantas - he did. It was the same Paul Keating who Graham Richardson referred to in his honk when he wrote:

“This wimpish proposal did'■ not satisfy Paul Keating, he wanted to go much further and sell off Telecom into the bargain....Keating's view was that anybody who would not side with him was a pathetic coward . "

“It is clear that Paul Keating's word is only as good as his track record.

"The Coalition has given its firm undertakings to the Australian people and Telstra employees on the partial privatisation of Telstra, Paul Keating has given none.

"And if re-elected, the privatisation of Telstra by a Keating Government is as inevitable as death and taxes.”

For more information: John Galligan 02- 9981 5835