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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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Labor Must Not Ignore the Rights of 1.4 Million Telstra ShareholdersEmail this pageBack

Tuesday, October 06, 2009 Printer Friendly Version

LABOR MUST NOT IGNORE THE RIGHTS OF
1.4 MILLION TELSTRA SHAREHOLDERS

Telstra’s major shareholders have every right to be concerned about the destructive impact the Rudd Government’s radical telecommunications reforms will have on the company’s value, Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Nick Minchin said.

The nation’s largest listed investment company AFIC headed by Bruce Teele is the latest to speak out against Labor’s unprecedented strong-arm tactics against Telstra and its 1.4 million shareholders.

Mr Teele likened the Government’s behaviour to the expropriation of a private dwelling to build a freeway. “If they decided to take over your house … you’d expect to get paid for it, I reckon,” he reportedly told The Australian.

“Major investors are deeply concerned that the Rudd Government is not paying fair regard to the rights of Telstra’s 1.4 million shareholders and is seeking to erode the company’s value without proper compensation,” Senator Minchin said.

“The big lie is that the Rudd Government is acting in the best interests of consumers, when the truth is it is acting in its own interests, in a bid to prop up its reckless $43 billion National Broadband Network plan.

“All the Rudd Government is interested in is forcing Telstra to migrate its fixed line customers onto the NBN in order to try and make it viable, while at the same time forcing the closure of the Telstra network in order to eliminate competition to a new Government-owned monopoly,” Senator Minchin said.

“The Rudd Government should engage in proper commercial negotiations with Telstra instead of using bully boy tactics to force structural separation and divestiture of key assets under the threat of being banned from participating in future spectrum auctions.

“Telstra shareholders invested in the company in good faith at a time when neither the Coalition nor Labor supported structural separation. Labor’s radical new approach not only threatens the investments of 1.4 million shareholders, but heightens sovereign risk in this country,” Senator Minchin said.

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