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Farmers Welcome Telstra's Local Presence Guarantee

13 June 2006

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the approval of Telstra’s Rural and Regional Presence Plan by Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Minister Senator Helen Coonan, recognising the important role telecommunication plays in rural and regional Australia.

“The combination of regulation contained within Telecommunications Acts, along with the Customer Service Guarantee, the Network Reliability Framework, the commitments within the Telstra Rural and Regional Presence Plan and the Federal Government’s $3.1 billion funding arrangements, gives us the assurances we need to see ongoing improvements delivered in telecommunications for farmers and rural communities,” NFF President Peter Corish said.

“The Local Presence Plan progresses another long awaited outcome flowing from recommendations in the 2002 Regional Telecommunications Inquiry. While the effectiveness of the Plan, and, indeed, the other commitments and programs outlined above, will ultimately be judged over time by service improvements in rural and regional Australia.

“Having these principles in place gives farmers and communities peace of mind that they will have access to quality, affordable telecommunications services now and into the future.

“The Plan needs to work within a competitive market framework to allow Telstra and other providers to deliver the broad range of telecommunications requirements of their current and potential rural customer base.

“The Plan provides the Government with another method to ensure services and service quality can be delivered and maintained. This has been one of a number of outcomes sort by NFF to ensure the delivery of guaranteed telecommunications service standards in rural and regional Australia.”

Media Enquiries: Brett Heffernan, NFF Public Affairs, (02) 6273 3855 or 0408 448 250 email:

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