HEAT IS ON: Senators Barnaby Joyce, left, and Bill Heffernan, exchange heated words.
HEAT IS ON: Senators Barnaby Joyce, left, and Bill Heffernan, exchange heated words.

Telstra gets the message on service

By ADRIAN MILLER

A PLAN by new Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo which would see $5billion spent on upgrading internet services in the bush is confirmation of what the Federal National Party has been saying for years, according to Member for Page Ian Causley.

Mr Causley said the plan was welcome and was consistent with National Party claims of the need for bush services to be upgraded.

At a meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, Communications Minister Helen Coonan and Finance Minister Nick Minchin yesterday, Mr Trujillo out-lined a scheme which would see hi-tech services installed throughout regional Australia.

But Mr Trujillo's plan, which would see over 90 per cent of the population connected to services such as wireless internet, satellite services and fibre optic cables, would require a large commitment in funding from the government.

Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said the move would help to increase competition for services in the bush, which would ensure a choice for customers and the best prices and services for regional Australians.

"We need to ensure we get that platform in regional areas because we see competition as a major driver and having parity of services and prices is very much in our thinking," he said.

nMEANWHILE Mr Causley has refuted media claims there is Coalition in-fighting over comments made by new Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce.

"I read the articles in the papers and there's been quite a bit of licence taken," he said.

"I was at the meeting they are referring to (and) it was a good, frank meeting with no personal confrontation at all."



Suspicious fire in Grafton's CBD

premium_icon Suspicious fire in Grafton's CBD

Fire and Rescue label fire near train tracks as suspicious

More firefighters on scene as blaze burns out of control

More firefighters on scene as blaze burns out of control

UPDATE: Residential properties under threat as fire spreads

FIRE UPDATE: Four out of control fires in the Valley

FIRE UPDATE: Four out of control fires in the Valley

There are currently 24 fires currently burning in the Clarence.

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