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Government must come clean on Telstra sale details.



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MEDIA RELEASE

 

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE

LINDSAY TANNER MP

 

 

GOVERNMENT MUST COME CLEAN ON TELSTRA SALE DETAILS

 

With an announcement of the broking team for the second sale of Telstra shares due at any time, the Government must ensure that this time all payments are transparent and appropriate, Lindsay Tanner, Shadow Minister for Finance said.

 

“With brokers jostling for a share of one of their biggest paydays, it is critical that the Government prevents a repeat of the problems detailed by the Auditor-General with the sale of the first third of Telstra.

 

“The Auditor-General found that Australian taxpayers were short-changed by the first tranche of Telstra shares being sold for billions below their real value.

 

“Despite this, brokers were rewarded with $260 million in fees and commissions - including commissions paid on shares given as bonuses to Telstra employees and on shares subsequently returned as unpaid.

 

“In the light of the Auditor-General’s damning Report of the first sale, the Government needs to ensure that there is full disclosure of all the terms and conditions of the sale up front,” Lindsay Tanner said.

 

“Second, given that the legislation enabling the sale has yet to pass through the Parliament, the Government must come clean on the remuneration arrangements for brokers in the event of there being no second sale.

 

“If Australian taxpayers are forced to sell the nation’s biggest asset, the least this Government can do is ensure we receive the best price for the sale,” Lindsay Tanner said. “And this should be achievable without having to pay extortionate brokers’ fees.

 

21 December 1998

 

For further information contact:

Lindsay Tanner or Gary Moorhead on

(03) 9347 5000 or (0418) 555 877

 

 

 

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