Consideration of the Telstra (Dilution of Public Ownership) Bill 1996



Telstra has become, as a result of competition, technological advancements and improved management, a highly profitable and efficient national telecommunications company. Partial privatisation would lead to a lack of accountability to the Parliament and to the people of Australia, who are the current 'shareholders'.


History of Telstra

3.1 Telstra's origins date from 1901, when the Postmaster-General's Department (PMG) was established to manage all domestic telephone, telegraph and postal services. The Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC) was established in 1946 to manage Australia's international telecommunications.

3.2 The Australian Telecommunications Commission, trading as Telecom Australia, was created as a separate entity in July 1975, following the break-up of the PMG. The Australian and Overseas Telecommunications Corporation (AOTC) was formed in February 1992 following a merger of the OTC and Telecom Australia.

3.3 Telstra Corporation Limited became the legal corporate name of the merged entity in April 1993. The domestic trading name, Telecom Australia, was changed to Telstra on 1 July 1995 to distinguish the corporation from other telecommunications companies in the increasingly competitive and deregulated market. The corporation has been trading as Telstra internationally since 1993.

3.4 Telstra is making a transition from a traditional telephone/telecommunications company to a provider of electronic communication and information services, within a substantially altered national environment. [1] The Committee considered that Telstra is the only corporation in Australia currently available to build the 'information superhighway' to the door of every Australian.


Corporate Structure

3.5 Telstra Corporation Limited is, at present, a wholly-owned Commonwealth company which is limited by shares as follows:

Table 3.1 Telstra's Share Capital

Telstra's Share Capital
Authorised share capital 20 billion ordinary $1 shares
Issued and fully paid shares 4.933 billion
Issued and partly paid shares (to $0.75) 2 billion [2]


An ordinary share simply means that it is a standard single vote share. At the moment, Telstra can only issue its shares to the Commonwealth. Assuming the current Bill becomes law, the Commonwealth would offer for sale up to one-third of its shares to the public.


Corporate Performance

3.6 Telstra is a highly profitable national corporation in public ownership. Its profit after tax increased by 3 per cent to $ 1,755.5 million in 1994-95. As noted in its 1995 Annual Report, this result represented a return on investment of 18.2 per cent, which compares favourably with leading international telecommunications companies. [3] Its contributions to governments totalled $ 2,732 million in 1994-95. Telstra is one of the largest contributors to Australia's wealth, with a value added contribution of $ 8.78 billion, representing 2.2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, distributed as follows:


Table 3.2 Telstra's GDP contribution - distribution

To employees
Wages, superannuation and workers' compensation $3,914.2m
To providers of capital
Interest $506.4m
Dividends $944m
Government taxes
Income tax $649.6m
Other taxes $288.1m
For reinvestment
Depreciation and retained earnings $2,475.9m


3.7 The main reason given for the Government's policy of privatising Telstra is the belief that a privatised corporation would be more efficient and productive (refer World Bank discussion in Chapter 4).

3.8 In the past, Telecom, and later, Telstra was considered by some to be inefficient as a result of its statutory monopoly, and this view has been encouraged by bodies such as the Bureau of Industry Economics, which has provided its interpretation to the Industry Commission. [4]

3.9 However, Telstra has changed its corporate image and performance in recent years. The introduction of competition in 1991, together with efficiencies achieved, has seen a remarkable improvement in its financial efficiency. Past, present and future performance is now reviewed and compared internationally. This increasing efficiency will continue whether or not Telstra is partly privatised.

3.10 Significant efficiency improvements have been achieved in 1995/96. Company-wide efficiencies have occurred, and will continue to come from:

3.11 BZW Australia, the investment banking division of Barclays Bank PLC, said in its submission to the Committee that privatisation will provide 'greater scope for management to focus on established performance targets'. [6] This appears to the Committee to have been done without the need for privatisation as Telstra's Chief Executive Officer, Mr Frank Blount, was paid 'a short term performance bonus relating to 1994 and a long term performance bonus relating to 1992, 1993 and 1994 all of which totalled $ 400 000'. This was on top of a salary of between $ 1 200 000 - $ 1 209 999. [7]

International comparisons

3.12 A number of submissions to the inquiry argued that Telstra's performance fell significantly below that of its overseas peers. The Department of Finance submission, for instance, stated that comparisons of Telstra's performance relative to other international telecommunications carriers indicate that it is still operating below optimal efficiency. [8] Similarly, the Department of Communications and the Arts stated in its evidence that:

3.13 It emerged in evidence, however, that a number of indices of telecommunications performance exist and against several of these, Telstra's practice was at or above world standards. In response to questioning from the Committee, Mr Ian Martin, BZW Australia, agreed that Telstra's financial performance was, for a range of ratios, at best practice levels. Return on average equity, return on sales and debt to equity ratios were all said to be at least on a par with that of comparable operators internationally (refer Table 3.1). In the words of Mr Martin:


Table 3.3 Telstra Financial Performance

Financial ratios 1993/94 Result World's Best Practice
Pre-tax return on capital (return on investment) 22% Over 20%
Interest Cover 5.3 % Over 5.5 times
Debt Ratio 35.5% 35%
Return on Average Equity 18% Over 17%
Profit Margin (return on sales) 24% Over 25%


3.14 However, both the Department of Finance and the Department of Communications and the Arts questioned the relevance of financial ratios in assessing Telstra's efficiency. The latter, for instance, suggested that:

3.15 The Department of Communications and the Arts, in its supplementary submission to the inquiry, presented evidence of Telstra's performance against a range of operational indicators. The Department acknowledged that Telstra performed well on the basis of revenue per line, while noting several difficulties in interpreting this measure. On the other hand, it suggested that 'Telstra's high rank on revenue per line is reversed when revenue is compared to employee numbers.' [12]

3.16 The Committee noted that the Department of Communications and the Arts estimates are based on the 1995 Bureau of Industry Economics Study, International Performance Indicators. The OECD's 1995 Commercial Outlook, on the other hand, ranks Telstra at mid-range (10th out of 26 countries) on the basis of revenue per employee, when the measure is adjusted for purchasing power parity. The Committee believed this divergence highlights the complexity of the methodological issues involved in international performance comparisons.

3.17 This difficulty aside, the Committee noted that both the Bureau of Industry Economics and the OECD studies found that Telstra was among the better performers on this measure on an intertemporal basis. The OECD showed Telstra's rate of growth of revenue per employee to have been above the OECD and European Community averages for the period 1982-92. Similarly the Bureau of Industry Economics noted that, for the period between 1990 and 1993:

The June 1996 Report by the Steering Committee on National Performance Monitoring of Government Trading Enterprises confirms this view, finding that Telstra's:

3.18 The Committee also heard evidence from several witnesses on Telstra's efficiency as measured both by access lines per employee and operating costs per access line. In relation to the first measure, Telstra's ratio of 135 was said to compare unfavourably with those of British Telecom and the Telecommunications Corporation of New Zealand (200) and with the U.S. Regional Bell Operating Company average of 250. [14] Similarly, the Department of Communications and the Arts suggested that Telstra's labour productivity, as gauged by this measure, was below that of companies operating in similar environments. [15]

3.19 It was acknowledged, however, that this measure was, in the words of the Finance Department submission, 'fairly simplistic' as it failed to capture differences in such practices as contracting out, in country geography/demography and in market structure. [16] A number of submissions further emphasised this point by drawing attention to the specifics of Telstra's operating environment. [17] It was argued that the very low operational density of the Australian market, together with Telstra's role as sole universal service provider, needed to be allowed for when considering Telstra's cost structures:

These objections are relevant to both the access lines per employee and the costs per access lines measures.

3.20 The Committee was informed that several studies had disputed the significance of geographical factors for Telstra's performance. Nevertheless, the Committee notes that significant differences in the estimation of Telstra's efficiency arose from the National Economic Research Association study cited by the Department of Finance when its results were adjusted to reflect Australian conditions.

3.21 In its original submission to the inquiry, the Department stated that Telstra's:

In its supplementary evidence, however, the Department of Finance indicated that the NERA figure had not been normalised for geographical factors and that after such normalisation:

Telstra, in its evidence to the inquiry, in fact suggested that it believed itself to be 'at this point of time, 25 per cent off the pace' on the basis of its own internal benchmarking. [21]

3.22 While the variation in these estimates suggested to the Committee that benchmarking is not an exact science, the impact of normalisation for geography would nevertheless appear to be significant. The Committee believes that it is likely that the particularities of the Australian market do have an impact on Telstra's performance, as reflected in measures of both labour and capital productivity.

3.23 The Department of Communications and the Arts further argued that Telstra's performance was significantly inferior to companies operating in similarly sparsely populated areas such as U.S. West and the Canadian carriers. The Committee received evidence, however, suggesting that in the case of U.S. West, the achievement of relatively low employee levels (and hence higher labour productivity) had been associated with a deterioration in service quality. [22]

3.24 The Committee was concerned that the Department of Communications and the Arts should compare Telstra unfavourably with a company whose service record they had evidently not bothered to investigate. Such an omission highlighted the dangers of relying on partial indicators, selected primarily to support a particular point of view, when analysing Telstra's performance. Public policy decisions made on the basis of such analysis may have serious consequences for Australian consumers.

3.25 The unions with coverage of Telstra also claimed that the market structure in which U.S. West operated was significantly different from that of Australia, due to the presence of small local exchange carriers which serviced many rural and remote areas. It is not clear whether the BZW Australia figures on which the Department of Communications and the Arts based its evidence have been normalised to take account of such differences (or for contracting out). The Bureau of Industry Economics evidence on Canadian carrier performance is based on International Telecommunications Union figures which do not appear to have been adjusted for contracting out.

3.26 The Committee concluded that the evidence submitted to it on Telstra's performance allowed for a wide range of interpretations. Moreover, given the inherent difficulty of international comparisons, no one measure was likely to accurately reflect Telstra's performance relative to its peers. This was evident from the following exchange between Senator K. Carr and Mr I. Martin, Telecommunications Analyst, BZW Australia:

3.27 The Committee accepts that there would be room for improvement in Telstra's performance against a range of measures. It noted that Telstra had itself arrived at such a conclusion. Indeed, Telstra, in the supplementary submission, indicated significant improvements on a number of indicators over the last two years.


Table 3.4 Improvements in Telstra's performance since 1994

  1994/95 1995/96
Operating Expenses/Access Line +7.6% +11.6%
Total Factor Productivity +7.9% +10.4%
Employee (FTS)/10,000 Access Lines -7.6% -0.4%
Revenue/Employee -6.7% +5.4%
Total Assets/Sales -8.4% +5.6%
Investment/Lines Installed +14.1% -5.0% [24]


3.28 The trend of these figures is in line with other evidence submitted to the Committee as regards the performance of Government Business Enterprises in the last decade, [25] and with the recent findings of the Steering Committee on National Performance Monitoring of Government Trading Enterprises (GTEs). The Steering Committee's June 1996 report found that both State and Commonwealth GTEs were continuing to improve both labour and total factor productivity.

3.29 The Committee considers that such figures point to Telstra's capacity to achieve ongoing performance improvements while remaining in full public ownership. Benchmarking, if used critically, may contribute to the process of identifying areas where such improvements can be made. However, in view of the difficulties noted above, the Committee concluded that international benchmarks could form no sound basis on which to build a case for Telstra's privatisation.

3.30 The Committee concluded that whilst there is room for improvement in Telstra's performance, Telstra is a highly profitable company performing well in public ownership.


Other Structural issues

Debt Management

3.31 The Bill contains the provisions at new sections 8AM and 8AO required for the Government's proposed taking over of $ 700 million of explicitly Government-guaranteed debt which is now carried by Telstra: a move which would improve the Corporation's balance sheet and increase its value, as discussed in Chapter 4. [26]

3.32 Some of the advocates of privatising Telstra said that to conform with world's best practice involved high levels of debt, which would be foreign debt. The Department of Finance intimated that, with current debt at $4.74 billion, Telstra's debt should be higher for greater efficiency. [27] An increase in foreign borrowing would have an immediate impact on the current account deficit, as interest repayments were remitted overseas on a regular basis.

Joint ventures and asset sales

3.33 The Committee was concerned at the persistent suggestions from the current Government, some sections of the press, and, reportedly, from the CS First Boston team who conducted the privatisation Scoping Study, that some form of structural break up of Telstra is being entertained. One purpose of breaking up Telstra would be to increase profitability prior to and during 'the crucial five-year period after privatisation'.

3.34 Such structural separation could be achieved by keeping non-profitable divisions in full public ownership (eg. the $ 3.9 billion broadband network which is proving a short-term financial drain) and partly privatising the rest. [28] Alternatively it has been suggested that the highly profitable divisions, such as the Yellow Pages, be sold off separately, thus increasing the overall sale value. [29]

3.35 The Committee is opposed to any form of structural separation of Telstra, which would result in the loss to Australian industry and Australian consumers of the efficiencies available through vertical integration. The Committee noted that the Government's election policy did not involve structural separation of Telstra. The Committee calls on the Government to affirm this policy, irrespective of the outcome of the debate on Telstra's ownership.


RECOMMENDATION 3: The Committee recommends that Telstra not be structurally separated.


3.36 The Committee was aware of the ongoing public discussion about the complex distinction between a joint venture and a partial sell-off in the context of the Government making short term decisions that would make Telstra 'leaner (and meaner)' and 'more attractive to prospective purchasers'. [30] The 'non-legislative' route to privatisation is considered in Chapter 2 of this report.

3.37 Telstra has a range of subsidiaries. These are separate corporate entities in which Telstra has control over the composition of the board of the subsidiary or holds a majority of the voting shares. Telstra is also associated with a range of companies, which means that Telstra has financial investment or shares in the company but it does not control the company. Some of the subsidiaries may be companies which have been incorporated to allow Telstra to enter into a joint venture with a private firm.

3.38 All of these subsidiaries, associated companies, joint ventures and partnership activities by Telstra do not directly affect the ownership of Telstra itself. For example, if one of the companies with which Telstra is associated has foreign investment (eg 60 per cent foreign investor and 40 per cent Telstra) that does not make Telstra a foreign company because it does not confer any foreign ownership on Telstra shares. The foreign investor would have had to notify the Foreign Investment Review Board, assuming that is was originally an Australian business with assets of more than $ 5 million. If it is a completely new business established in Australia with foreign investment in which Telstra takes an interest by way of investment or shareholding then it simply falls within the monitoring and regulation functions of the Australian Securities Commission.

3.39 Telstra could reduce its active participation by way of transfer, sale or lease functions to subsidiaries, associated companies or others, and this option has been given wide coverage in the press. [31] It can do that now without the current Bill but the Government might feel obliged to act by way of the section 9 power of Ministerial direction to stop a wholesale sell-off in the 'public interest'. Telstra can sell its assets without selling any of its shares.

3.40 Although the Ministerial direction power is removed by the Bill, the Commonwealth and the private shareholders could exercise their voting power to curb a major sell-off of assets if that course of action was construed as not being in the company's best interests. This might also have a negative effect on the share price and would therefore require an explanation to the Australian Stock Exchange, as well as to the shareholders. Also, some of the assets might be encumbered by debt (where a lender had provided a loan or credit) and the assets were subject to a charge. That debt would have to be repaid before the assets were sold.

3.41 Commercial sell-offs come at a cost in terms of State and Territory stamp duties and asset sale costs. As each sell-off occurred, Telstra would have to inform the Australian Stock Exchange under the continuous disclosure regime because the transaction might have a material effect on the price of the shares. In other words, the company could not just decide to reduce itself to a shell overnight without telling anyone. In any event, Telstra's Articles of Association provide that it must inform the Minister when it wants to make any significant change in its commercial interests.

3.42 One amendment that should be considered, if the Bill proceeds contrary to the recommendations of this report, is the inclusion of a power of veto by the Parliament (with full tabling and disallowance requirements) pertaining to any proposal to amend the Memorandum and Articles of Association of Telstra so long as it remained a Commonwealth majority-owned company. The Commonwealth could always vote against the proposed amendment to the company's Memorandum and Articles using its majority voting power attached to the shares but the Parliament might prefer to have such matters determined by it rather than the Government of the day, in the public interest. This strikes at the commercial freedom of the company and the shareholders to determine the future of the company and the contents of the Constitution/rules of the company, but it is a measure analogous to the Commonwealth wanting to have a privileged position vis-a-vis other shareholders regarding the special power to obtain financial data from within Telstra.

3.43 The Committee was unable to form an opinion on the matter of whether or not joint ventures confer a competitive advantage, which is covered by second part of term of reference (g), as it received insufficient evidence. [32]


Accountability -Telstra management and the Parliament

3.44 In passing the Bill, the Commonwealth would be yielding its express power to direct the board of Telstra in terms of the powers and functions of Telstra. This may have serious consequences for the national interest. The Commonwealth would still retain the conventional voting power of two-thirds majority and has accorded itself a special power to monitor the internal financial operations of the company. However, the Commonwealth would be required under the Corporations Law to have regard to the rights of the minority shareholders in exercising its vote. This gives rise to difficult legal issues as to the rights and remedies of the minority shareholders.

3.45 There is ongoing concern about availability of information on Telstra's corporate performance. Since the corporatisation of Telstra, the organisation has been accountable to its owners, the people of Australia, through the tabling of an Annual Report in the Parliament, and the Senate estimates process. According to the Department of Finance, the proposed legislation continues this. The Corporation is still accountable as before:

3.46 Ms Fay Holthuyzen, First Assistant Secretary, Telecommunications Industry Division, Department of Communications and the Arts, provided the Committee with a summary of the accountability requirements of the Bill:

3.47 While this may be the case, the Committee has serious concerns. These are now discussed.

Power of direction by the Minister

3.48 The Bill repeals the power of the Minister to direct the Telstra Board in the public interest. This power derives from section 9 of the Telstra Act. Although no section 9 direction has ever been issued, the Committee is of the view that its very existence exerts an important influence on the Board's deliberations. The Bill, however, removes this power because such a situation is incompatible with the operations of a publicly listed company which must operate in response to the voting power of the shareholders and under the direction of the Board of Directors in compliance with the Rules of the Australian Stock Exchange and the provisions of the Corporations Law. As the Department of Communications and the Arts explained:

3.49 Mr Mike Reynolds, Director of the Centre for Social and Welfare Research at James Cook University, expressed his concern about the implications of this change as follows:

RECOMMENDATION 4: The Committee recommends that if the Parliament passes the Bill, contrary to the recommendations of this report, the Section 9 power of the Minister to direct the Telstra Board in the public interest be retained.


Access to financial data

3.50 The Bill provides a new a new subsection (8AD) which empowers the Minister to give Telstra a written direction to provide specified financial statements for specified periods. This power could be used, for example, to require Telstra to provide quarterly financial statements. This power is over and above the normal obligation which applies to a listed company (and Telstra will become listed on the Australian Stock Exchange). Listed companies have obligations of 'continuous disclosure' to the Stock Exchange and shareholders of any significant event likely to materially affect the price of the company's shares.

3.51 The Committee was very concerned about who would have access to such information, in particular whether the Parliament would have such access or only the Minister.

3.52 The Committee noted that Directors of a company, once their appointment takes effect, are fiduciaries and must therefore display the utmost good faith towards the company in their dealings with it or on its behalf. While legislation, such as the Corporations Law, has to some extent extended and clarified the ambit of those duties, in the main these duties are still determined by extensive and complex care-law, which does not find expression in the Corporations Law. The provisions contained in Schedule 1, Part 2, Division 5 - Miscellaneous of the Bill set a dangerous precedent insofar that the Commonwealth, the Minister and officers or employees of the Australian Public Service ('associated persons') are provided with immunity notwithstanding that they have or may have breached the duties and sanctions provided under the Corporations Law.

3.53 The Department of Communications and the Arts informed the Committee that:

3.54 The Committee noted that these provisions apply only to information concerning the Telstra sale scheme, and are quite separate from the continuing obligations in relation to financial statements and significant events. The power to access such financial information is a discretionary power available only to the Minister. There is no provision in the Bill for this information to be made available to the Parliament. An increasing amount of information provided to the Senate Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts Legislation Committee by Telstra at Annual Report hearings is marked Commercial in Confidence, as was information about Project Mercury provided to this Committee on 19 August 1996. This lack of availability of material is widely recognised in the commercial and academic communities:

3.55 Mr Stevens' response to questioning from the Committee on a question relating to commercial-in-confidence issues confirmed that, in his view, there had been 'some concern' in regard to commercial-in-confidence information which had been an issue 'regardless of the ownership of Telstra'. Mr Stevens assured the Committee that under the legislative provisions, commercial-in-confidence evidence would still be available to Senate legislation committees under partially privatised arrangements for Telstra. [38] Under the proposed legislation, however, this direct accountability would be restricted under Division 3 of the proposed new Part 2 of the Telstra Act.

3.56 The Committee notes that there are mechanisms for the Parliament through its Committee structure to take commercial-in-confidence evidence. These mechanisms will still be available if Telstra is partially privatised in the manner proposed. However, the Committee is concerned that these mechanisms are unwieldy and time consuming.

3.57 The Government argued that the listing of Telstra on the Australian Stock Exchange would provide an important measure of accountability to the public. However, in response to a question on notice from Senator Wheelwright, it was revealed that "many of the disclosures made to Ministers under the Bill's reporting requirements" would be exempt from disclosure to the Australian Stock Exchange.

3.58 The Committee is concerned that a partially privatised Telstra would not be fully accountable to either the Parliament or the stock exchange.


Telstra Scoping Study

3.59 The Government has established a Scoping study the aim of which is to provide it with the legal, technical, commercial, policy, public communications and management advice needed to enable it to proceed promptly with the sale of one third of its equity in Telstra. The study is being conducted by a task group of officials from the Department of Communications and the Arts and Finance. In response to a Question on Notice by Senators Schacht and Lees, the estimated costs of the Scoping study were revealed. [40] The study has an estimated cost of $1 469 233 over four months with CS First Boston as Business Adviser at a cost of $ 275 000 to assist the Government in its planning of the partial sale of Telstra.

3.60 The terms of reference of the Scoping Study were considered confidential by the Government, but were released by the Department of Finance as a result of this Committee's inquiry. [41]

3.61 The results of the Scoping Study were not available to this Committee for consideration in this report. It is a matter of very serious concern to the Committee that it was not able to obtain such vital information about the management of the proposed sale.

Telstra Scoping Study - Terms of Reference



[1] Telstra, Annual Report 1995; A. Brown, (1996), Reform and Regulation of Australian Telecommunications, Griffith University School of Economics Working Paper No 5, pp.28.

[2] Telstra, Annual Report 1995, pp.63.

[3] Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union/Community and Public Sector Union, Submission No.296, Vol.10, p.1871.

[4] Mr J. Rice, Australian Centre in Strategic Management, Submission No.267, Vol.9, p.1758.

[5] Telstra, Submission No.366, Vol.15, p.2898-99.

[6] BZW Australia, Submission No. 295, Vol. 9, p.1850.

[7] Telstra, Annual Report 1995, p.76.

[8] Department of Finance, Submission No.188, Vol.7, p.1271.

[9] Mr Stevens, Secretary, Department of Communications and the Arts, Official Hansard Report, 25 June 1996, p.11.

[10] Mr I Martin, BZW Australia, Official Hansard Report, 30 July 1996, p.153.

[11] Department of Communications and the Arts, Submission No.131A, Vol.16, p.3139.

[12] Department of Communications and the Arts, Submission No.131A, Vol.16, p.3140.

[13] Bureau of Industry Economics, 1995 International Performance Indicators, p.113.

[14] Department of Finance, Submission No.131, Vol.4, p.694.

[15] Department of Finance, Submission No.131, Vol.4, p.695.

[16] Department of Finance, Submission No.188, Vol.7, p.1271.

[17] Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union/Community and Public Sector Union, Submission No.296, Vol.10, p.1863.
Mr J. Rice, Australian Centre in Strategic Management, Submission No.267, Vol.9, pp.1755-1767.

[18] Mr J. Rice, Australian Centre in Strategic Management, Submission No.267, Vol.9, p.1762.

[19] Department of Finance, Submission No.188, Vol.7, p.1271.

[20] Mr M. Hutchinson, Deputy Secretary, Department of Finance, Official Hansard Report, 26 July 1996, p.743.

[21] Mr P. Shore, Managing Director, Commercial and Consumer, Telstra, Official Hansard Report, 3 July 1996, p.110.

[22] Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union/Community and Public Sector Union, Submission No.296, Vol.10, p.1884 and Appendix 3.

[23] Mr I. Martin, Telecommunications Analyst, BZW Australia, Official Hansard Report, 3 July 1996, p.151.

[24] Telstra, Submission No.366, Vol.15, p.2898-2900.

[25] Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union/Community and Public Sector Union, Submission No.296, Vol.10, p.1863.

[26] Telstra (Dilution of Public Ownership) Bill 1996, Explanatory Memorandum, Financial Impact Statement, p.4.

[27] Department of Finance, Submission No.188B, Vol.14, p.2649.

[28] S. Lewis, New Telstra sale strategy, Australian Financial Review, 1 July 1996.

[29] Australian Financial Review, 19 August 1996.

[30] Canberra Times, 1 July 1996, p.17.

[31] Government defends plan to strip Telstra assets, Australian Financial Review, 27 May 1996; and Australian Financial Review, 19 August 1996.

[32] Australian Photonics Co-operative Research Centre, Submission No.332, Vol.12, p.2403; BZW Australia, Submission No.295, Vol.9, p.1854.

[33] Department of Communications and the Arts, Submission No.131A, Vol.16, p.3157.

[34] Official Hansard Report, 25 June 1996, p.40.

[35] Mr M. Reynolds, Official Hansard Report, 10 July 1996, p.336.

[36] Department of Communications and the Arts, Submission No.131A, Vol.16, p.3153.

[37] Professor J. Quiggin, Official Hansard Report, 10 July 1996, p.359.

[38] Official Hansard Report, 25 June 1996, pp.46-47.

[39] Department of Finance, Submission No.188B, Vol.14, p.2653.

[40] Department of Finance, Submission No.188B, Vol.14, p.2652.

[41] Department of Finance, Submission No.188A, Vol.8, pp.1675-1681.