Telstra gets AU$1 billion 'secret documents' wish

A ruling preventing Telstra from accessing documents relating to the government's decision to award nearly AU$1 billion in funding to OPEL has been overturned.

A ruling preventing Telstra from accessing documents relating to the government's decision to award nearly AU$1 billion in funding to OPEL has been overturned.

Telstra launched a lawsuit against the former Communications Minister Helen Coonan in August last year, alleging the government had increased the amount of funding available for a bush broadband rollout from around AU$600 million to AU$1 billion and had not made the increase known to all tenderers.

The telco's attempts to have documents relating to the decision made public were turned down by the Federal Court in October, with Telstra ordered to pay the Minister's costs.

Telstra has now been granted leave to appeal against the original decision and the court has ordered that the government provide access to the documents Telstra has been seeking.

Telstra's group counsel Will Irving said in a statement: "This is a good outcome because it may take us one step closer to knowing what went on behind closed doors, and then being able to assess whether more formal action is warranted."

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