Full privatisation on the cards for Telstra

27 Jun 2003

The Australian government yesterday revealed plans to sell its remaining 50.1% stake in the country’s dominant fixed line provider Telstra, paving the way for its full privatisation. According to the country’s communications minister Richard Alston, the sale will be beneficial for Telstra, the telecommunications sector as a whole and the Australian public, but looks likely to be blocked by the court’s upper house, where the centre right government is a minority. The opposition Labour party says the full privatisation of Telstra will lead to a deterioration in telecoms services across the country, particularly in rural and regional areas, as it would create a private monopoly which the government would have no control over. The proposed privatisation follows two previous stake sales by the government, which took place in 1997 and 1999.