8102.0 - Future Treatment of Telstra in ABS Statistics, 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/02/2007  First Issue
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The purpose of this Information Paper is to outline the treatment of Telstra Corporation Limited and controlled entities (Telstra) in ABS statistics following the completion of the Telstra 3 share offer (T3) late last year. The privatisation of Telstra will impact on a number of key ABS statistical outputs.
Public/Private Sector Classification Principles
Australian resident units (ie enterprises/legal entities) such as Telstra are classified as being public sector if the units are part of the general government sector or are controlled by units of the general government sector. All other resident units are classified as private sector.
The Telstra T3 Share Offer
On 9 October 2006 the Australian Government officially launched the Telstra 3 share offer. The T3 share offer concluded on 17 November 2006. The share offer was oversubscribed and in total 4.25 billion shares valued at $15.5 billion were allocated.
Statistical Issues
From a statistical perspective the main issues associated with the T3 sale is whether Telstra ceases to be a public sector unit, and establishing the date at which any change takes effect.
ABS Assessment
The ABS on balance assessment is that the classification of Telstra changed from public sector non-financial corporation to private sector non-financial corporation with effect from 20 November 2006.
Presentation in ABS Statistics
The ABS has made the pragmatic decision to continue to treat Telstra as a public sector unit up to and including 31 December 2006 (ie up to and including the December quarter 2006) and as a private sector unit subsequent to that (ie from the March quarter 2007).
ABS considers Telstra to be effectively privatised from 20 November 2006. ABS will continue to treat Telstra as a public sector unit for the December quarter 2006 and as a private sector unit from the March quarter 2007. The changed treatment of Telstra will not impact on economy wide measures of economic activity. However, for a range of ABS published statistics the changed classification may cause significant increases/declines in the levels of some statistical series from the March quarter 2007.