Telstra’s new head of Public Policy & Communication, Phil
Burgess, has sent his troops a lengthy email – which is published in
full on the Crikey website here – and ends with this admonition
:

The past several weeks have included many stresses, but that is the
cost of changing the conversation and getting people to understand that
you can’t keep undermining value in Telstra without adverse
consequences for everyone – shareholders, taxpayers, and consumers and
for the future of telecommunications in Australia.

Throughout
this process, we have clearly achieved one of our objectives – getting
an increasing number of analysts, reporters, commentators and the
public to understand that regulations and administrative practices are
undermining shareholder value in Telstra.

We are now trying to
get opinion leaders to understand that new proposals to expand
regulations increase our costs, subsidize our competitors, and make it
harder to introduce new services – and will continue to chip away at
shareholder value, though at an increased rate. It is in everyone’s
interest – and our obligation – to do all that we can to bring balance,
reason and consistency to the regulations that so directly affect the
value of the investments of 1.6 million Australians.

In
addition, we will soon have a large and continuing agenda to help
consumers, shareholders and the public to become familiar with the
results of the CEO’s management review and the business strategy and
priorities that will shape Telstra’s future.

I look forward to
working with you as we find new and effective ways to serve those who
depend on our management, strategy and technical assistance services.

Phil Burgess
GMD, Public Policy & Communication

Peter Fray

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