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For further information or comment from Bob please contact Olivia Katter on 0427 129 626.

Innisfail Ph 07 4061 6066 Fax 07 4061 6 566

Mt Isa Ph 07 4743 3534 Fax 07 4743 0189

Parliament House Ph 02 6277 4978 Fax 02 6277 8558

MEDIA RELEASE Hon Bob Katter MP Member for Kennedy heading date .There have been four major breakdowns in the last week. For six hours in Innisfail the telephone was out. The broadband went out in the lower Atherton Tableland and the mobiles are still at the time of the press statement was released out in major areas in Townsville’s Northern Beaches and the phones have gone out for areas covering the biggest banana farms in Australia.

This has all been in the space of one week.

Now the disastrous policy of mismanagement graphically illustrated by Senator Coonan (who whould have a job opening envelopes for some clerk in Canberra) .

She has allocated $1billion, a significant amount of which is to duplicate services that are already being provided. This will of course cut into Telstra’s profits and Telstra will now please their shareholders with an annual wave of cutbacks of technicians and service delivery staff causing an even further breakdown than are occurring now.

This clearly demonstrates the failure of National Competition Policy. There is no policy in place by any three of the major parties that will ensure anything except continuation of the downward spiral in service delivery.

To unscramble the egg is now enormously complicated. That part of $1b that was duplicating existing service clearly should have been put into the subsidising and granting a certain number of technicians on the ground. Whether that’s in Edmonton in Cairns or Julia Creek in the outback. There is no difference.

That money should have been used along with considerable tightening of the regulations enforcing universal service obligations legislation not worth the paper they’re written on. [3 October 2007]