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Crean lies about Labor's commitment to regional telecommunications

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ent By: Media Monitors A u s tra lia ; X N I BV 123; au- a-ea ; itvu» ;

30-Sep-98 F-6:55PM; Page 2/2


M e d i a

R e l e a s e

SENATOR THE HON RICHARD ALSTON M inister fo r Communicaiimia, l he htfiim nithni Economy and the A rts Deputy Leader o f the Government in the Senate



Simon Crean has been caught out telling almighty fibs about Labor's Telstra Reward Fund, the Minister for Communications, Senator Richard Alston, said today.

Today on radio Simon Crean was asked what commitment the Labor Party could give to guaranteeing telecommunications services in regional Australia,' Senator Alston said.

'Mr Crean claimed th at Labor would guarantee services through the ongoing dividend from Telstra.

'When he was asked by the interviewer how this would happen, given that the dividend does not supply telecommunications services now, Mr Crean replied that "we w ill ensure a proportion of that dividend into the future goes to repairing regional infrastructure, particularly telecommunications".

Ί have bad news for Mr Crean.

'The Labor Party's Telstra Reward Fund does not devote one red cent to regional telecommunications infrastructure in any year of a first Beaztey Labor government.

‘When Mr Crean was again asked whether the phones would be fixed under Labor, he repeated the felony, stating that a "fixed proportion of the dividend" would be devoted to guaranteeing access to new telecommunications technologies.

'Mr Crean must explain how he got it so wrong.

T h e fact is that Labor does not devote one cent in any policy to upgrading regional telecommunications. On the contrary, it is committed to ripping out $180 million from the Regional Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (a Budget-funded Coalition programme which is entirely separate to the Telstra dividend).

'The Australian public w ill not be fooled by Labor’s patchwork of promises it has no intention of keeping,' Senator Alston said.

30 September 1998

Contact: David Qullty 0419/421 803