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Budget 2004: Budget Telstra sale delay.

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Peter Andren MP - Independent Member for Calare

11 May 2004

Budget Telstra sale delay

Tonight’s budget confirms the government has been forced to delay any further sale of the rest of Telstra, according to Peter Andren, Member for Calare.

“While the budget again provides for the further sale of the government’s remaining shares in Telstra, the budget figures have pushed out any expected sale receipts by two years,” Mr Andren said.

“Last year’s budget anticipated the government would begin to receive sale proceeds in 2005-06.

“However, Finance Minister Nick Minchin has conceded that given the rejection of the further sale legislation twice in the Senate and the long lead time required for sale preparation it would now be difficult to achieve a sale in 2005-06.

“The government has therefore assumed the earliest possible receipt of sale proceeds is 2006-07.

“This move is a welcome indication by the government of the hostility such a proposed sale will have in the electorate.

“Whatever the goodies in an election year budget, the government realises the promotion of full Telstra privatisation would be deadly in the bush.

“The Coalition should now eliminate the sale from its policy altogether,” Mr Andren said.

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