National Party and Liberal members today abandoned Western Australia by voicing their support for the sale of Telstra, according to Local Government and Regional Development Minister John Bowler.
While the Labor Party supported a motion to oppose the full sale of Telstra, the Liberal members representing country areas refused to stand up for their State.
Mr Bowler said Western Australians had again been let down by the State Opposition - especially those from regional areas.
“I think all people living in regional WA will be bitterly disappointed by the approach taken by the Opposition parties today,” he said.
“The Opposition had a chance to stand up for regional WA but they did not.
“They cry out for the regions when it suits, but today the Leader of the Opposition was not even interested enough to be in the House to discuss the future of telecommunications in all areas of this State.”
The Federal Government has continually told all Australians that the full sale of Telstra would not be considered until the services in the bush were up to standard, but this is definitely not the case.
The sale of Telstra will only give the Federal Government a convenient excuse for not fixing the problems, instead of holding onto it and providing the entire nation with a quality Government-owned service.
“A bucket of Telstra money will not ensure the future telecommunication standards in WA, especially in regional areas,” Mr Bowler said.
The Gallop Government will always fight in the interests of regional WA to ensure it receives its fair share of facilities and services.
“Today, the people of this State have sent a message to the Senators of WA, through the passing of a motion in this House that opposes the sale of Telstra,” Mr Bowler said.
“It is now the duty of the WA Senators, not just Labor, to stand up for their State, do the right thing and vote against John Howard’s sell-out of regional WA.”
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