The Federal Government has agreed to review is a National Party proposal to set up a multi-billion dollar trust to improve Telstra services in the bush.
At the Queensland National Party conference on the weekend members voted to oppose the full sale of Telstra unless the government agrees to its five point plan which includes putting aside more than $2 billion to protect Telstra services in the bush.
IT and Telecommunications Minister Senator Helen Coonan today confirmed the government will consider establishment of the trust fund.
Coonan said the government had already spent more than $1 billion on Telstra's services in remote areas and another $180 million on the Estens inquiry which made more than 30 recommendations on how services could be improved.
As part of the five point plan the Queensland Nationals are seeking a three-yearly reviews of Telstra's services by a new body set up under the industry regulator and measures to ensure services in the bush are on par with those in metropolitan areas.
This is in addition to retention of the Universal Service Obligation (USO).
Coonan also confirmed an announcement will be made later this week to ensure Telstra maintains a local presence in the bush after privatisation.