Feb 24, 2006

Telstra Payphones dumped to pay for Howard’s privatisation agenda

Telstra Payphones dumped to pay for Howard’s privatisation agenda

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

24 February 2006

Anthony Albanese MP, Federal Member for Grayndler, has expressed his anger about Telstra’s plans to dump 5,000 public payphones after the company’s full privatisation.

Mr Albanese said, “There is a clear need for payphones to be maintained in cities as well as rural areas.”

“The plan to slash payphones is just the first wave of service cuts that will result from the Howard Government’s decision to sell the rest of Telstra.”

“Removing payphones in areas like Sydney’s inner west would disadvantage those who cannot afford the expense of a mobile phone or who do not have the stability for a home phone,” he continued.

“I am concerned that this move will hurt those who can least afford it.”

Local residents like Cheryl Baume of Dulwich Hill are outraged.

“The plan to reduce the number of payphones is deplorable. You never know what situation you might find yourself in where you could need a payphone,” said Ms Baume.

“Telstra’s prices keep going up but its services keep going down. In the end, it’s us who end up paying for Telstra’s privatisation, despite promises to the contrary,” she concluded.