The federal senate last night approved the additional 16.6 per cent sale of Telstra in a float expected to bring more than $16 billion to the nation's purse.
The sale could be as early as October this year, government officials said.
This second float is targeted at institutional investors, particularly from the US, rather than the "mums and dads" who scooped the pool in Telstra's initial float. However, "loyal" shareholders are likely to be rewarded with a minimum share entitlement and a discount of around three per cent.
The government will retain 50.1 per cent of Telstra after this share offer.
Independent Senators Harradine and Colston supported the bill. The government will now move on to debating the tax reform package.