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Tough talk ahead of T3 deadline

Federal finance minister Nick Minchin has sought to “clear the air” between the government and Telstra, ahead of its $8 billion T3 offer. Sniping between the pair escalated last week when Telstra public affairs executive Phil Burgess accused the government of launching a vicious campaign against its chief executive Sol Trujillo. Treasurer Peter Costello responded by saying Mr Burgess was “mistaken” and reiterated his support for the government’s controversial nomination of Geoff Cousins to the Telstra board. Communications minister Helen Coonan also gave her endorsement to the nominee, saying Mr Cousins was eminently qualified and suited to join the board.

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