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Opposition disappointed at telecom decision

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N atio n a l Party o f Australia

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The Federal Opposition is disappointed t h a t the Government has completely re je c te d the Davidson's Enquiry's recommendations fo r Telecom, Shadow M in is te r Bruce Lloyd said today.

Mr Lloyd said the M in is t e r 's announcement today removed any chance to make Telecom more com petitive and was con trary to developments in o th er cou ntries.

" I t is recognised overseas th a t a more com petitive domestic telecommunications system is e s s e n tia l i f new technological o p p o rtu n ities are to be r e a lis e d , both in the home country and in the burgeoning in te rn a tio n a l market.

Mr Lloyd said t h a t , more in sorrow than in anger, he once again

had to r e j e c t the Government's in sinuation s contained in t h e i r announcement, th a t the c o a lit io n Government had threatened the monopoly common c a r r i e r ro le o f Telecom.

"In f a c t , the previous M in is t e r , Neil Brown, announced on February 8 th is yea r th a t "the Government is committed to m aintaining the ess en tial common c a r r i e r roles o f Telecom and A u s tr a lia Post."

Mr Brown also confirmed the r e je c t io n o f the Davidson recommendation to term inate telephone c ro s s -s u b s id is a tio n , and i t is o f concern to ru ral A ustralians th a t the M in is t e r 's statement makes no mention o f t h i s .

" I t is in te re s tin g to note th a t in January t h is yea r Telecom said

in t h e i r response to the Davidson Report t h a t "Telecom supports the extension of competition in the term inals market provided th a t Telecom is f r e e l y able to p a r t i c i p a t e . "

Mr Lloyd said he re g re tte d th a t there was now an in creasing number o f complaints from p riv a te company competitors in the term inal and added services in d u s trie s . They claim t h a t Telecom, under Government d ir e c t io n , is already adopting a more r e s t r i c t i v e p o lic y using i t s

common c a r r i e r monopoly to prevent com petition.

"Telecom's in te rn a tio n a l standing, and i t s com petitiven ess, and the A u s tra lia n community, w i l l a l l be long-term losers by t h is Government's d e c is io n ."

ends Further in fo rm ation: Bruce Lloyd 72.7079