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YK2 bug - Alston leaves small business in rural and regional Australia in the dark



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kOefAi AUSTRALIA

Joel Fitzgibbon MP

Federal Member for Hunter Shadow Minister for Tourism and Small Business Electorate 45 Vincent Street PO Box 526 Cessnock NSW 2325

Ph: (02) 4991 1022 Fax: (02) 4991 2322 Parliament House RG 54 Canberra ACT 2600 Ph: (02) 6277 4404 Fax: (02) 6277 8479

22 December 1998

Y2K BUG ALSTON LEAVES SMALL BUSINESSES IN RURAL AND REGIONAL AUSTRALIA IN THE DARK

The Federal Government's taxpayer funded advertising campaign on the Y2K Millennium Bug has been conducted exclusively in the capital cities, Shadow Minister for Small Business and Tourism, Joel Fitzgibbon, said today.

"Full page advertisements appeared in all of the capital city daily newspapers, but rural and regional papers were only given press releases," Mr Fitzgibbon said.

"This is simply unfair, discriminatory and wrong.

"The Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Senator Alston, has failed in his responsibility to small businesses in regional Australia. As a result, he will make them the information-poor cousins of their metropolitan counterparts.

"The Millennium Bug is a problem facing small businesses across all of Australia, not just those in the cities.

"Technology can be of most assistance to small businesses in regional and rural Australia by improving information accessibility — a fact acknowledged on a regular basis by both Tim Fischer and Senator Alston.

"Labor will be pursuing the reasoning behind this information discrimination in Additional Senate Estimates next year.

"I call on Senator Alston to revisit the Y2K campaign to include rural and regional Australia in the information equation," Mr Fitzgibbon said.

Contact: Cassandra Gelade 02 6277 4404 or 0407 496 237

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