• Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • Renai's other site: Sci-fi + fantasy book news and reviews
  • RSS Renai LeMay

  • Blog, Telecommunications - Written by on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 11:32 - 17 Comments

    Conflict of interest: Milne’s $1.5m in Telstra shares

    modern business woman holding crossed fingers behind back

    blog Dear readers, let me pose you a simple ethical question. If you had spent a decade in a high-profile role at Telstra that netted you $1.5 million worth of shares in the telco, would you consider it a good idea to sell those shares before taking a similarly high-profile role at NBN Co, which is engaged in billion-dollar negotiations with Telstra that could significantly affect Telstra’s share price? It sounds like it would be a good idea to get rid of the shares, right? Right? Wrong, if you’re Justin Milne, who has just taken a role at NBN Co is still holding onto his sizable Telstra stake. The Age reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):

    “Mr Milne still owns 305,000 Telstra shares, worth about $1.5 million at Tuesday’s closing price of $5.01, according to a search of the company’s share registry by Fairfax Media on Monday.”

    The ethical questions are beginning to become overwhelming for the new NBN Co and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Appointing a new executive chairman to NBN Co that has little experience with network infrastructure rollout and hasn’t held a role in the telco sector for almost a decade. Appointing two other senior executives with little experience with network rollouts, but with close connections to Turnbull personally. Turfing execs with Labor connections from NBN Co. And now glaringly obvious conflict of interest issues. Plus, a refusal by Turnbull to talk about these issues at all. One wonders how someone of Turnbull’s intelligence and experience is allowing this situation to develop as it is. The whole picture is starting to look pretty bad.

    Print Friendly


    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

    1. BruceH
      Posted 23/10/2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink |

      Uh-oh. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, T$ was always writing the Earl’s scripts so the outcome of The Earl’s promotion to power was always going to be good for T$. But such a close association of a political appointee to the NBN who also has an interest in the profitability of T$ Shares does look a little off.

    2. PointZeroOne
      Posted 23/10/2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink |



    3. Adam Nelson
      Posted 23/10/2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink |

      Share ownership will just be placed in family name. Like the wife of kids instead of Justin

    4. tinman_au
      Posted 23/10/2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink |

      I share your concern Renai, Tony pretty well lied when he promised “unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability”…

      I think we can pretty well assume we (the Australian people) wont be getting a good outcome from this (“this” being more “snouts in the trough” and “jobs for the boys” from the current government).

      • Quiet Observer
        Posted 23/10/2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink |

        I think Tony was being completely truthful when he spoke of “unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability.” It’s just that people naively thought that said accountability would be to the electorate, when in fact it is to the LNP’s board of directors. Last I heard, Gina Rinehart held the chair.

        • Observer
          Posted 24/10/2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink |

          “unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability.”

          Indeed, what he didn’t specify was that the level would be extremely low.

      • Rohan
        Posted 23/10/2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink |


        Abbott lied? No! how can an “adult” do such a thing?

        Looks like the question Abbott asked regarding who does Australia trust has now been answered – and it’s not Abbott or his LNP goons….

    5. Brendan
      Posted 23/10/2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink |

      The “unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability” throw-rug is certainly having a lot shoved under it of late.

    6. Soth
      Posted 23/10/2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink |

      Isn’t there some sort of system/body setup to stop this from happening? o_O

      • Karl
        Posted 23/10/2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink |

        ASIC, I believe.

        • tinman_au
          Posted 23/10/2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink |

          I’m not sure ASIC cover GSE’s.

    7. Kevin Cobley
      Posted 23/10/2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink |

      There’s an accountability solution for politicians, the noose.

    8. Duke
      Posted 23/10/2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink |

      Dammit, I’ve said it before and will continue to say it… if you want ethical behaviour, no conflicts of interest and selfless service to the public, the solution is obvious:


      They have a proven track record of standing up for their interests, have form in telling governments to gtfo of their business, and tacos are cheap…

    9. Tom
      Posted 23/10/2013 at 9:39 pm | Permalink |

      So Milne keeping his shares is a good indication that we should be trying to buy Telstra shares right?

      • PeterA
        Posted 24/10/2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink |

        Yep; time to buy Telstra it sounds like! Sure bet!

    10. Northern Blue
      Posted 24/10/2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink |

      It is a conflict of interest for Milne. I guess the focus will be on every decision he makes. Clearly he would be required to abstain from any committee, board, or project management team where he is asked to contribute to the discussion or make a decision either involving or adroitly affecting Telstra. Given that, would he actually be capable of performing his duties as set out in his job description?

  • Get our weekly newsletter

    All our stories, just one email a week.

    Email address:

    Follow us on social media

    Use your RSS reader to subscribe to our articles feed or to our comments feed.

  • Most Popular Content

  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Legacy health software lands SA Govt in court doctor

      In which the South Australian Government comes up with complex legal arguments as to why it should be able to continue to use a 1980’s software package.

    • Microsoft wants to win you back with Windows 10 windows-10

      The latest version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system will begin rolling out from Wednesday (July 29). And remarkably, Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade to those users who already have Windows 7 and 8.1 installed.

    • Qld Govt Depts have no disaster recovery plan brisvegas2

      Two sizable Queensland Government departments have no central disaster recovery plan, the state’s Auditor-General has found, despite the region’s ongoing struggles with extreme weather conditions that have previously knocked out telecommunications and data centre infrastructure.

    • ASD releases Windows 8 hardening guide windows-8-1

      The Australian Signals Directorate appears to have released a guide to hardening Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, three years after the software was released for use by corporate customers, and as Microsoft is slated to release its next upgrade, Windows 10.

    • ASG picks up $35m CIMIC IT services deal money

      Perth-headquartered IT services group ASG this week revealed it had picked up a deal worth at least $35 million over five years with CIMIC Group — the massive construction and contracting group previously known as Leighton Holdings.

  • Blog, Policy + Politics - Jul 31, 2015 12:43 - 0 Comments

    Google ploughs $1m into Australian tech education

    More In Policy + Politics

    Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 31, 2015 14:16 - 1 Comment

    Legacy health software lands SA Govt in court

    More In Enterprise IT

    Industry, News - Jul 28, 2015 12:37 - 0 Comments

    ICAC to investigate NSW TAFE ICT manager

    More In Industry

    Consumer Tech, News - Jul 29, 2015 17:14 - 11 Comments

    Telstra integrates Netflix, Stan, Presto into re-badged Roku box

    More In Consumer Tech