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Greens slam government over Telstra pay phone cut backs.

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Senator Bob Brown Senator for Tasmania

Greens slam government over Telstra pay phone cut backs

Senator Brown, Sunday, 1st October 2006

The government is responsible for paving the way for Telstra to close a significant portion of its public phones services in Australia, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

Telstra is aiming to remove 10,000 public phones by the end of next financial year. (See today's Sunday Age)

"The Howard government's universal service obligation allows for Telstra to cut the number of public phones down to 7500. While Telstra should maintain the public services, the real culprit if they don't is the Howard government," Senator Brown said.

Senator Brown said as many as 300 phone boxes could be disconnected in Tasmania alone.

"Telstra is about to decimate the public phone system for the poorer and less able people in Australian society. At the same time, it will be upgrading services to the big end of town."

"It would have been better if Telstra did something about the black spots which cut off thousands of mobile phone calls each day in Australia. These are great revenue earners but should be fixed before Telstra dismantles another part of its essential

public services," Senator Brown said.

Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603