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Getting Telstra back on the job.



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MEDIA RELEASE

LINDSAY TANNER MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS

GETTING TELSTRA BACK ON THE JOB

A Labor Government will bring Telstra back to its primary focus, delivering high quality telecommunications services to all Australians. Labor will get Telstra back on the job.

Telstra’s record under John Howard is a catalogue of disasters. The network is deteriorating due to staff and investment cutbacks. Telstra is losing billions in Asia while Australian consumers pay more under massive hikes in telephone line rental charges. While Telstra’s attention is focused on inappropriate media investments and giving Plasma TVs to the Prime Minister and Communications Minister, Australia is slipping even further behind equivalent nations in broadband take up rates.

Labor’s Telstra policy announced today is based on four key commitments:

• Requiring Telstra to intensify its focus on its core responsibilities to the Australian community, and reduce its emphasis on foreign ventures and media investments

• Requiring Telstra to focus on the provision of affordable and accessible broadband services for all Australians • Strengthening the competition regime by requiring much stricter internal separation of Telstra’s wholesale and retail activities • Giving consumers stronger protection from sharp practices by

telecommunications companies and making the Telstra price control regime fairer

Labor remains absolutely committed to Telstra remaining in public ownership. A privately owned Telstra would be a giant private monopoly too powerful for any government to effectively regulate. Telstra would focus on the more lucrative markets in the bigger cities and neglect the interests of lower-income and regional Australians, just like the banks.

June 11, 2003

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