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Telecommunications Service Inquiry gets underway.

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Media Release

TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE INQUIRY GETS UNDERWAY The independent Telecommunications Service Inquiry to assess the adequacy of telecommunications services in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas held its first meeting in Sydney today.

'At this first meeting, my colleagues and I agreed to a comprehensive process which will enable all Australians, and particularly those located in regional or remote parts of the country, to express their views and to contribute to this Inquiry,' said Mr Besley

'To ensure the Inquiry keeps people informed of the processes, we have established a 1800 freecall Inquiry line and a website. I would encourage people to call 1800 039 900 or visit'

The Inquiry will formally call for submissions through national press advertisements over the next few weeks, with submissions due by the end of May.

'Using information collated from the submissions, and the research we will undertake over the next month or so, the Inquiry will launch a program of field trips across Australia,' said Mr Besley

'The members will work to develop a schedule which takes us to as many parts of the country as practicable, and enable us to hear from as wide a range of community and industry representatives as we can.'

Following an analysis of the submissions received, the Inquiry will invite industry and community representation groups from metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas of Australia to formally participate in a program of consultative meetings.

'This Inquiry is a major undertaking. We are aware of the broad public interest in its activities and the desire by many in the community to have their input into its deliberations. We are confident that the processes we are putting in place will achieve this,' concluded Mr Besley.

The Telecommunications Service Inquiry, its members and terms of reference were announced by the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts on 19 March 2000.

The Inquiry is being conducted by Mr Tim Besley AO (Chairman), Mr Ray Braithwaite and Ms Jane Bennett.

Media contact: Celia Hevesi, Media and Public Affairs, Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, 02 6271 1254

30 March 2000