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Australia - Privatisation of Telstra

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Last updated: 13 Mar 2006 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 16

Analyst: Paul Budde

Synopsis

In November 1997, the government sold one-third of Telstra (Dilution of Public Ownership), worth $14 billion. In March 1998, the government indicated that if it won the next election it would sell the remaining two-thirds of Telstra, and in mid-1999 a second tranche, T2, was sold. In 2002, the controversial subject – with all its implications for rural services, competition, shareholder return, government debt, political ambitions, amongst others – was put on the backburner. However, with the stunning election victory in 2004 the government pushed on September 14th 2005 the sale of Telstra through the Parliament, despite widespread opposition. T3 was launched in October 2006.

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As you know, I have resigned from the Labor Ministry and have decided not to re-contest the seat of Charlton at the next election – both for personal reasons.

Before leaving Parliament, I particularly wish to record my thanks to you for your generous and constructive participation in the deliberations that generated significant economic policy reforms for the Australian community. Continuous economic transformation is a key challenge that faces all Governments.

The development of sound public policy should always be contestable. Ultimately, good and equitable outcomes are not concessions to any particular interest group, but the careful balancing of interests to create the greatest possible benefit for the nation. You have contributed to that, and I sincerely thank you for it.

Greg Combet, Former Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation

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