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Telstra sale not in regions best interests.



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DEMOCRATS MEDIA 04/1015 WEDNESDAY 6 OCTOBER 2004 SENATOR JOHN CHERRY AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS SPOKESPERSON ON COMMUNICATIONS Telstra Sale Not In Regions Best Interests

The sale of Telstra is not in regional Australia’s best interests, with faults and services still falling short of world’s best practice, according to the Australian Democrats.

Democrats’ Communications spokesperson, Senator John Cherry who, like all Democrat Senators, voted against the sale of Telstra twice in the last Senate, said he would vote against the sale again in the next Parliament.

"The Democrats’ policy is opposed to the full privatisation of Telstra, and that is how I will vote again," Senator Cherry said.

"The Government should forget about its flawed privatisation plan and instead focus on upgrading the network to improve services, and on making telecommunications more competitive.

"The Democrats have called on the Australian Government to follow the lead of Canada, Korea, and the United Kingdom, and set a ten year goal of upgrading the Telstra network to fibre optic or equivalent.

"Some parts of the copper network are over 30 years old and way beyond their effective life-span.

"The Democrats also call for the Government to initiate a review into the structural impediments to effective competition, as recommended by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the National Competition Council (NCC).

"Upgraded infrastructure and improved competition will deliver far better consumer outcomes than the privatisation plan of the Howard Government," Senator Cherry concluded.

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