Now that parliament has finally cleared the way for T3, the next
key date in the tortured history of Telstra’s privatisation comes
late next month when Sol Trujillo unveils his strategy for giving
the struggling telco a future. If T3 is to proceed, the strategy
had better be a good one, says Stephen Bartholomeusz in The Smage. While job losses and cost cutting may dominate initial reactions
to next month’s grand plan, the critical question, for Telstra, its
shareholders and the taxpayer will be whether there is growth after

Seven’s controlling shareholder, Kerry Stokes, has a lot riding on his case against News Corp. He has a point to make,
potentially some damages to collect, possibly some massive legal
costs to recover and, if he is really successful, the breakup of
Foxtel’s ownership, says Elizabeth Knight in The SMH. His chances of achieving all of the above must be slim but if
history is any guide, Stokes will extract something for five years
of effort in mounting this case.

The Fin Review reports that record petrol prices are starting to
bite, with consumer confidence plummeting this month to its lowest
level since the Iraq War. Also in the AFR, patients will be
able to claim instant rebates at doctors’ surgeries by swiping a
Medicare card as part of a planned overhaul of health and welfare
payments that would also encourage pharmacies to claim government
subsidies online.

And Australia’s powerful financial services
industry regulator – the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority – is the subject of a conflict-of-interest allegation
after it emerged that one of its top three executives benefited from a
recent $10 million settlement involving the Axa Australia staff super
fund, reports The Australian.

On Wall Street, US stocks closed with fairly heavy losses overnight on the early impact of options expirations, pressured by
higher oil prices and weaker than expected retail sales and industrial
production figures. The Dow Jones closed down 52.54 points at 10,544 – MarketWatch has a full report here.