Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has spoken to the CEO of Telstra David Thodey after inadvertently tabling a valuation of the telco's network assets in Parliament on Monday night.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) report, which advised an expert panel of how much it would cost the government to purchase Telstra assets, was tabled in parliament with confidential figures intact.
Conroy was asked by Opposition Communications Minister Nick Minchin in question time yesterday whether he had personally apologised to Telstra over the incident.
"Can I say that - yes, I take full responsibility and - yes, I have spoken to David Thodey," Conroy said.
Senator Conroy went on to say that the opposition had been demanding for the release of the information from "day one" and that the government had been refusing to do so because of the commercial nature of the reports.
Shadow communications minister Nick Minchin asked Conroy whether his office can be trusted with protecting the sensitive data of other companies.
"Don't come in here [the Senate] pretending to cry on behalf of Telstra or cry on behalf of Telstra shareholders when you are demanding this information be released," Conroy fired back.
"It is regrettable, as I've said, that an unfortunate error resulted in this confidential information not being removed," Conroy said. "I take responsibility; I've made that absolutely clear. We have admitted the mistake."
Telstra negotiation to continue
Conroy said he felt confident that "constructive talks with Telstra" could continue after the figures had been inadvertently tabled.
"We are confident that constructive talks with Telstra can continue," Conroy said. "The value of network assets is a subject of talks with Telstra and we have already indicated that we will not be ... giving a running commentary on these discussion".
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