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Problems at Nunamara show flaw in privatising Telstra.

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Michelle O’Byrne MP

Federal Member for Bass







Appalling telecommunications services to the Nunamara district are perfect reasons why Telstra should not be further privatised, according the Federal Member for Bass, Michelle O’Byrne.


“Friday night’s meeting demonstrated exactly how poor services are in regional Australia. It also indicated how run down many of the installations and cables have become,” Ms O’Byrne said.


The meeting at the Nunamara Hall, organised by local community members, amid a groundswell of concern about phone, fax and internet delivery to the area, heard instance after instance or below par, non-existent and intermittent services.


“The people of this region, just 20km outside Launceston are getting a raw deal every day. And we know they are not the only ones.


“Here we are talking about a 400 square kilometres area, which hosts high risk activities including timber and farming, as well as a number of popular recreation sites. It is not acceptable in 2002 for it to have no mobile phone service at all,” Ms O’Byrne said.


“This is particularly important when you also have Telstra deciding it is too hard to maintain public phones boxes, like the one which used to exist at Myrtle Park.”


With just a few days left, until 27 th September and the closure of public submissions to the Regional Telecommunications Inquiry, Ms O’Byrne urged other individuals and communities to follow the lead of their colleagues at Nunamara and make their feelings and experiences known.


“This Inquiry, as unsatisfactory as it is, is likely to lead to the complete privatisation of Telstra unless ordinary Australians, particularly those in the regions, tell Mr Howard that this is just not acceptable.


“If service is unacceptable now when the Government has control, we have no chance for a fair deal when the bean counters of a shareholder driven monopoly take over,” Ms O’Byrne said.


Launceston, 22 nd September 2002

Further information: Michelle O’Byrne    0417 379 562