Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has appointed three telecommunications veterans to the board of the company charged with building Australia's national broadband network, one of whom owns a significant number of Telstra shares and another who previously left the company on unceremonious terms.
The three non-executive directors appointed to NBN Co's board are Patrick Flannigan, Simon Hackett and Justin Milne. They join board members Dr Ziggy Switkowski, Alison Lansley and Dr Kerry Schott.
Mr Milne still owns $1.5 million of shares in Telstra and is believed to have been an NBN Co consultant before Tuesday's appointment.
Mr Milne maintains a conflict of interest, given the NBN Co board will be expected to approve any changes to the multibillion dollar deal with Telstra.
He also sits on the Tabcorp board with Dr Switkowski and was chief executive of OzEmail.
A spokesman for the Communications Minister said Mr Milne "has already started moves to get rid of [the shares]".
Mr Flannigan resigned as NBN Co's head of construction in 2011 after the government-owned enterprise was forced to suspend its building tenders because of higher than expected costs.