Australia’s recently-installed centre-right coalition government has begun laying the groundwork for the privatisation of former incumbent Telstra in 2006. Although the state has yet to earmark a definite date for the sale of its majority stake, last month it launched a tender to hire the banks and advisers that will together develop a privatisation study. According to local press sources, the team is expected to be appointed in March from a shortlist due in February, with the report to be delivered in June. Shares in Telstra were previously sold in 1997, when it listed, and in 1999. Its share price peaked at more AUD9 at the height of the technology boom, but has slid alarmingly since then, ending 2004 at AUD4.91.