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Alston's 'never-ever' promise on Australia Post.

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Stephen Smith - Alston's Never-Ever Promise On Australia Post Monday, 22 October 2001

ALP News Statements

Alston's 'Never-Ever' Promise On Australia Post Stephen Smith - Shadow Minister for Communications

Media Statement - 21 October 2001

This morning on ABC Radio, Communications Minister Richard Alston claimed that the Howard-Anderson Government would not deregulate Australia Post's reserved services.

Senator Alston's claim today is just like John Howard's never-ever promise on the GST. It should never-ever be believed.

Australians know that the Howard Government tried to further deregulate Australia Post through its Postal Services Amendment Bill 2000.

Senator Alston himself credited Labor with stopping that Bill.

But on 29 March 2001, the very day he withdrew the Government's Bill from the Senate Notice Paper, Senator Alston told journalists at a doorstop that the Government remained committed to reintroducing its Bill if re-elected.

Further, Senator Alston told big business mail users in June this year that the Government remained committed to deregulating Australia Post.

Since withdrawing the Bill, the Government has consistently failed to reverse two measures in the Budget Papers which are necessary only if Australia Post's reserved services are further deregulated.

Finally, on 13 October 2001 it was reported in The Australian Financial Review that:

The Communications Minister, Senator Richard Alston, yesterday declined to say if the Coalition planned to reintroduce deregulation legislation defeated in March. ●

In other words, Senator Alston refused to rule deregulation out.

The Government is now trying to hide its support for the deregulation of Australia Post, just as it tries to pretend that it won't fully privatise Telstra. But the full privatisation of Telstra is in John Howard and

Peter Costello's own Budget.

The public record is very clear. Senator Alston simply cannot be believed when he says that Australia Post will not be deregulated under a Howard-Anderson Government.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.