Finance Minister Nick Minchin and Communications Minister Helen Coonan announced that the government would put forward Mr Cousins for nomination to the Telstra board.

They said he would enhance the board's telecommunications experience ahead of the government's planned float of a third tranche of Telstra shares.

"At the time of the AGM, the government will still own 51.8 per cent of Telstra, prior to the transfer of around 30 per cent of the company to the Future Fund," the ministers said.

The government says Mr Cousins, a former chief executive of Optus Vision, is an ideal board candidate, with broad experience in telecommunications, broadcasting and advertising.

"Mr Cousins has proved his robust independence through his service on several boards, such as Insurance Australia Group Ltd," Senators Minchin and Coonan said.

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