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Telstra is Australia's largest telecommunications company.

Once publicly owned, the Howard government passed legislation in 1996 authorising the sale of one-third share of the company. The government subsequently introduced the Telstra (Transition to Full Private Ownership) Bill 1998 to fully privatise Telstra. However, this was rejected in the Senate but a proposal to sell an additional 16 per cent was approved. At this point, the government held 50.1% of the company. Howard went to to November 2001 election with a policy that any further sales of Telstra shares would only occur after telecommunications services in rural and regional Australia were deemed adequate by an independent inquiry. In 2003 the government passed legislation for the sale of the government's remaining shareholding. [1]

The PR company Gavin Anderson was called on to assist with the sale process. [2]

The government sold a further tranche of shares in November 2006 but retained a 17% stake in the company. The final stake was transferred to a trust fund, called the Future Fund, in February 2007. [3]


  • Phil Burgess, Telstra's Group Managing Director, Public Policy & Communications


Accessed March 2008: [4]


Related Sourcewatch Resources


  1. Grahame O'Leary, "Telstra Sale: Background and Chronology", Economics, Commerce and Industrial Relations Group Parliamentary Library, September 15, 2003.
  2. Arun Sudhaman, "Gavin Anderson wins Telstra IPO study task", PR Week, March 25 2005. (Sub req'd).
  3. Senator Nick Minchin, Future Fund hits $50 billion with transfer of remaining Telstra shareholding, Media Release, February 28th, 2007.
  4. Directors, Telstra, accessed March 8, 2008.