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Senate votes down Telstra sale.



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MEDIA RELEASE

LINDSAY TANNER MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS

SENATE VOTES DOWN TELSTRA SALE

The Senate today did the right thing for Australians and voted against the full sale of Telstra.

John Howard’s plan to turn Telstra into a huge private monopoly against the wishes of most Australians has been thwarted for now.

This is a great vindication for Labor’s principled and resolute opposition to the further sale of Telstra.

Finance Minister, Senator Nick Minchin, stated the Howard Government may reintroduce the Bill in three months, meaning the Telstra Sale Bill could become part of a double dissolution election. Labor would be only too happy to fight an election on the sale of Telstra.

Rather than continuing with its relentless campaign to privatise Telstra, the Government should get on with the job of ensuring Telstra delivers decent telecommunications services to all Australians regardless of where they live.

Regional Australians should never forget that the Nationals voted for a Bill today that would have allowed Telstra to be sold without any test or guarantee for regional services.

The Nationals sold out on regional Australia in the Senate today. Labor’s consistent opposition to the sale of Telstra has helped ensure that Telstra remains in public hands for now.

October 30, 2003

For further information contact Lindsay Tanner or Peter van Vliet on 0408 188 055 or 0419 881 282.