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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


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
Toll Free: 1300 301 647
(Toll free in South Australia only,
for the cost of a local call

Parliament House

Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6277 3004
Fax: 02 6277 5703

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 Printer Friendly Version

Wednesday, 30 September 2009


The Rudd Government should remove the gun from Telstra’s head and enter into proper commercial negotiations with the company about its desire to use Telstra’s facilities in order to ensure the viability of its $43 billion National Broadband Network proposal Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Nick Minchin said.

Senator Minchin backed the calls of Telstra’s major institutional investors for the company not to buckle under the Government’s threats and do what it genuinely believes is in the best interests of its 1.4 million shareholders, 9 million customers and 30,000 employees.

“The Rudd Government’s charade that it could build the NBN without Telstra has been exposed by its desperate threats and ultimatums to the company in a bid to pinch its customers, gain access to the assets it needs for any roll out and at the same time reduce its capacity to compete against a new Government-owned monopoly,” he said.

“The Government needs to come clean, admit that its NBN is dead in the water without Telstra and enter into proper commercial negotiations with the company instead of trying to blackmail it.

“The reality is, despite all Labor’s talk about building a new national network, both the Government’s failed NBN Mark I proposal and this latest $43 billion pledge were based on the fibre upgrade of Telstra’s existing network.

“The Government is trying to force Telstra to help it deliver on an overblown promise regardless of the cost and its radical behaviour suggests Labor needs Telstra more than the company needs it.

“Labor’s handling of broadband policy is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. It has the potential to severely weaken Telstra, the primary service provider in rural and regional Australia, only to create a debt-laden Government-owned monopoly which could end up a commercially unviable burden on Australian taxpayers,” Senator Minchin said.

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