Opposition party promises to investigate SMS pricing and freeze line rental charges

20 Sep 2004

In a new telecoms charter published today, Australia’s principal party in opposition, the Labor Party, has promised to establish an inquiry into short messaging service (SMS) charges and freeze the line rental fees of the country’s dominant telecoms operator Telstra. The document has been published ahead of the upcoming federal election on 9 October and hints at the party’s intentions to increase the levels of regulation on the nation’s telcos. The policy is likely to raise the profile of telecoms in Australia and could see it becoming a key issue in separating the main protagonists. The Labor Party and the sitting Liberal-National coalition led by John Howard are poles apart on how best to handle the sector, with the former vehemently opposed to plans to sell the government’s 50.1% stake in Telstra.