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Dubbo hearing for Telstra sale bill inquiry.

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Peter Andren MP - Independent Member for Calare

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25 September 2003

Dubbo hearing for Telstra sale bill inquiry

The strong country response to the Senate inquiry into the government’s bill to sell the rest of Telstra has convinced the committee to hold a public hearing in Dubbo next Wednesday, 1st of October, according to Peter Andren, Federal Member for Calare.

“The response from country Australians has brought the committee to Dubbo, and is an indication of the strength of feeling there is in the bush about the possible sale of Telstra,” Mr Andren said.

The Committee will be hearing witnesses from 10.00am to 4.30pm, on Wednesday 1st October in the auditorium of Dubbo RSL Memorial Club, Brisbane Street, Dubbo.

“I will be giving evidence, along with my colleague Tony Windsor, the independent member for New England, from 10am.

“The senators will hear first hand the views of rural and regional people about the privatisation of Telstra and if my survey on the sale is anything to go by, they will hear a resounding NO.

“My survey last year found 96.7% or respondents opposed the sale, and in Tony Windsor’s second survey this year confirms opposition in New England still running at 98%.

“Other MPs have taken to doing their own surveys and their results are also consistently returning over 80% and 90% against the sale.

“National Party MP, Mrs De-Anne Kelly’s survey of her Dawson electorate found 81% of respondents opposed any further sale of Telstra, and Liberal Member for Hume, Alby Schultz’s survey returned 93% against.

“The only guarantee that world’s best telecommunications infrastructure will be available, accessible and affordable for country people, for home or business, will be continued public ownership of the only infrastructure provider - Telstra,” Mr Andren said.

“I believe this is the message the senate committee will hear next week,” he added.

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