Government, Telstra NBN negotiations revealed in ABC Cabinet Files leak


The ABC have got their hands on some Government Cabinet documents that were intended to be private. While the documents span a number of industries, the most relevant to our audience are ones that cover the NBN. To publicise the documents, ABC built a dedicated website –

Revealed in the highly classified cabinet documents is the negotiations from back in 2009 between the Government and Telstra. The documents reveal the then-Labor government set goals for the mega negotiation and even their strategy in dealing with Australia’s largest telco.

As part of the NBN project, the Government had to acquire the rights to use a large amount of infrastructure rolled out by Telstra, to avoid starting from zero. Its noteworthy there were later contracts with Optus as well, however, these documents are only focused on the Telstra negotiations.

One document reads,

“Telstra will initially approach the government with a number of proposals which the government will need to politely but firmly resist,”

“The strategy is … [for Telstra to] ultimately approach government to invest or use NBN Co’s network on the government’s terms.”

You can read the leaked documents pertaining to the NBN at strategy for negotiating with potential investors in NBN Co andNBN financing options and borrowing and budget impacts.

If nothing else it does provide a fun reflection on the initial $43 billion price tag and the intention to complete the rollout last year 2017, both of which have been long forgotten.

ABC asked NBN Co for comment, but understandably, they declined.

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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