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Nick Minchin

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Liberal Senator for South Australia
Nick Minchin

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Senator the Hon Nick Minchin

PO BOX 2141
Kent Town SA 5071

36 Grenfell Street
Kent Town SA 5067

Phone: 08 8362 8600
Fax: 08 8362 8579
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CONROY'S SPECTRUM THREAT DEFIES LOGICEmail this pageBack

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 Printer Friendly Version

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was today unable to explain the rationale for stopping Telstra from acquiring additional spectrum for advanced wireless broadband when its competitors in the wireless market have the majority of that market's share, Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Nick Minchin said.

Senator Minchin also asked the Minister what the Government's estimate of the loss to taxpayers would be as a result of the reduction in the value of spectrum resulting from the exclusion of Telstra from planned future spectrum auctions.

Senator Conroy dismissed the question as "entirely hypothetical" and based on a flawed premise.

Senator Minchin said the questions asked were both important and relevant and there was nothing hypothetical about them.

"The Bill introduced into this Parliament by the Rudd Government contains the clear provision to prevent Telstra from acquiring. This is stated in black and white and is one of the biggest threats the Government is making against the company," Senator Minchin said.

"Any move by the Government to deprive a business of competing in a market where its competitors have the majority of the market share defies logic. Senator Conroy was unable to provide any explanation as to the rationale behind this proposed measure.

"Nor was he able to say how much taxpayers would lose through spectrum auctions if Telstra was prevented from participating. This either shows how ill-conceived this proposed measure is, or that the Government doesn’t even care about the cost to taxpayers.

"Senator Conroy simply could not explain how this measure could possibly increase competition in the mobile sector and most importantly deliver better outcomes and new services for consumers," Senator Minchin said.

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