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Howard Government should release telecommunications competition regulation report.



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MEDIA RELEASE

LINDSAY TANNER MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS

HOWARD GOVERNMENT SHOULD RELEASE TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPETITION REGULATION REPORT

Shadow Minister for Communications, Lindsay Tanner, today called on the Howard Government to release the final report of the Productivity Commission into Telecommunications Competition Regulation.

“The Productivity Commission signed and forwarded the final report to the Government on September 21. The Government is required to release the report within twenty-five parliamentary sitting days of receipt of the report.

“Because the Government scheduled no sitting days between the election and the end of this year and only a limited number for the first half of next year, the Government could well sit on this highly important report until the middle of next year. This would not be in the national interest as getting our telecommunications industry right is absolutely critical to Australia’s future competitiveness.

“The Productivity Commission Report contains initiatives for a more competitive and efficient telecommunications sector. The Government should release the report and its response to the report to stimulate debate on these important issues.

“Labor has been highlighting industry and consumer concern about the adequacy of telecommunications competition arrangements for over two years and the Government has failed to address these issues.

“The Howard Government might want to go on a three month holiday but industry, consumers and the Opposition remain keen to move the telecommunications policy debate forward. Labor will work constructively to build a more competitive, efficient and consumer friendly telecommunications sector. Labor looks forward to engaging in robust debate on these issues once the Government decides to wake up from its post election sleep-in,” Mr Tanner said.

December 12, 2001

For further information contact Lindsay Tanner or Peter van Vliet on (03) 9347 5000 or 0408 188 055.