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|Government Should Defer Telco Bill till February||Email this page||Back|
|Friday, 30 October 2009||Printer Friendly Version|
The Rudd Government should defer Senate consideration of its Bill to force the break-up of Telstra until February rather than trying to ram such radical legislation through in the final two weeks of sitting in November, said Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Nick Minchin.
“Despite gaining cross-bench Senators' begrudging agreement to allow debate on its legislation to begin in November, the Government should take the Bill off the table until February.
“The Senate should not debate this legislation to break-up Telstra until it is fully informed on the details of the Government's NBN.
"The $25 million NBN Implementation Study will report in February. Consideration of this radical Bill should wait until Senators know exactly what this NBN will look like.
"Waiting until February will also allow the Government and Telstra to negotiate a commercial arrangement regarding the NBN and Telstra's copper network free of the overbearing and unacceptable duress inherent in Labor's bully-boy Bill.
"It is also extraordinary that the Government insists on this Bill being dealt with in the final sitting fortnight despite the Communications Minister, Senator Conroy being in Egypt for the first half of the sitting fortnight.
"The Government really is treating the Senate with contempt in seeking to ram through in the last sitting days of the year a Bill to radically restructure Australian telecommunications, as will as its disastrous and destructive emissions trading legislation.
"Neither of these reckless proposals need to be finalised in the next month, and both should be deferred until February," Senator Minchin said.