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More Coalition lies on Telstra Sale.

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MORE COALITION LIES ON TELSTRA SALE Communications Minister, Senator Helen Coonan, has joined John Anderson in misleading Australians about the Howard Government’s plans to sell Telstra.

When asked when she would sell Telstra Helen Coonan said today:

"… Clearly we’ve got to be happy that all of the requirements that have been identified in the various reports have been fulfilled, we’re rolling them out as we go and obviously they’re conditions that need to be met". (Helen Coonan, Radio National, Media Report 30/9/04.)

This is in direct contradiction to the Government’s own pre-election budget statement (PEFO 2004) which states:

The sale is conditional on the Government being satisfied that arrangements are in place to deliver adequate telecommunications services, particularly in rural and regional Australia. With the response to the Regional

Telecommunications Inquiry, the Government has indicated that it considers that this condition is met. (PEFO, September 10, 2004, Appendix D, p.41)

The Howard Government is trying to deceive Australians into thinking Telstra won’t be sold. But their own budget statement reveals the pre-conditions for the sale have been met.

John Anderson and Howard Government members should stop lying about the sale of Telstra and have the guts to admit to Australians they will sell Telstra as soon as possible.

Labor will keep Telstra in majority public ownership delivering decent telecommunications services to all Australians.

September 30, 2004

For further information contact Lindsay Tanner or Peter van Vliet on (03) 9347 5000 or 0417 147 932.