Nationals seek more funds from Telstra sale

The Nationals in Queensland have upped the ante by demanding new Internet services if the government wants to sell its remaining stake in Telstra.

Only last month the Queensland members of the National Party demanded the government set up a multibillion-dollar trust to pay for improvements to Telstra's services in the bush in exchange for their support of the $30 billion sale.

Now they also want health and education services to the bush via the Internet.

Newly elected Queensland Nationals president Bruce Scott said the cash could be spent on telemedicine - whereby country doctors consult over the Internet with patients in remote areas - the Royal Flying Doctor service and distance education schemes.

Scott said funding for the initiative would require a "substantial figure."

He also hoped telecommunications companies would work with the government and also contribute to the cash injection to provide much-needed upgrades to Internet services in the bush.

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