Government Privatising Telstra

Telstra, appears so badly managed, that I am considering dumping my
shares and reassigning them to the likes of Sing Tel, whom I could
predict will possibly make a play on Telstra, anyhow!

Directions to Telstra, or infrastructure should be a priority. We lag
behind Korea, who have broadband at five times our speed, 3G far
outweighing our hideous attempts. Under the government user pays
policy, we pay not to use, poor service, frequent problems, and an
elitist approach to customers. Telstra does not provide a service at
all, and baulks at customer complaints.

The sad fact is if Telstra was privatised, there may be a takeover by
some company who might make a go of it! To leave it fully privatised
and keep its current management outlook and nonsense would utterly fail.

Remembering that Victoria leads the world in privatisation and
federally they are not far behind – Kennett managed to sell off 60% of
the Victorian government, I do not see a corresponding reduction in 60%
of MPs – after all, is there not 60% less to govern?

Telstra, like many of the current Australian businesses and banks,
suffers from this merry-go-round of Chairmen, CEOs and Directors, who
play musical boardroom chairs with each other’s companies.

It appears to me, that the government faces an historical bind – half
trapped in the last century, cronyism and factionalism, with a good
dose of liberal catharsis means I can see no immediate relief to the
Telstra problem.

For what it is worth, the US have Powerline Internet, Telstra are still
carrying on about cables and satellites and fibre optics, American
consumers pay much less for superior and risk-free Powerline service.
So easy, and so cheap!!

Economic rationalism is a curious phrase, this Telstra market is
economically irrational, then what is rational about a market any way?

Richard Kings

Collins Class not so bad

Sorry Chris (Yoursay 15 April), but you’re not quite right.

Lieutenant Colonel Lance Collins IS a senior army officer and intelligence analyst.

The Australian Intelligence Corps of which Collins is a member is not a
large organisation in comparison to the non-service intelligence
agencies. The opportunities for promotion above LTCOL in the
Intelligence Corps are very limited, and hasn’t a key element of the
controversy been that Collins was unjustifiably passed over for

As a LTCOL, Collins was the on-the-ground head of operational
intelligence in East Timor – surely a senior role (except to the
analytical elitists back in their offices in Canberra)?

The suggestion that a LTCOL is a middle-management equivalent to an
Executive Level 1 in the Public Service is based on a flawed comparison
of rank beloved of public servants in the Department of Defence.
A General Service Officer at the rank of LTCOL is trained and
experienced to command (not supervise – command) over 600 personnel on
operations. How many EL1s in the Public Service have such
responsibility? Not one comes close…

I recall a lowly SOG C manager in Defence begrudging the relatively
meagre salary paid to Corporals in the Army. It was pointed out
to him that a CPL manages a team of nine personnel – more than most SOG
Cs – and EL1s.

Chris, take the hint. The Prime Minister has written personally
to LTCOL Collins. He doesn’t write to mere middle-ranking public

Charlie Block

The bigger, the better

Just check this out, today a person called Siel Bia Ly from Adelaide
got 27 months (min 15 months) for a welfare fraud of $45,000, Rene
Rivken gets 9 months of weekend detention for under $400 but Karl
Suleman of Froggy fame gets just 21 months (min 12 months) for over $18
mill in judgements and convictions for fraud, as Alan Bond proved, it’s
dollars per day of imprisonment that is the benchmark, maybe you could
start another of your famous lists on a dollars per day time spent.

Rhonnie Biggs

Tassie’s Butler baiting

I do not know why you think it is right to keep hammering Richard
Butler. I do not know if you have ever met the man, nor do I really
care, but some sections of the media seem to treat an attack on the
Tasmanian Governor as trophy sport.

I do know the man, but I am not an apologist for him, however, I can
tell you that he is trying to do some good in Tassie and is most
certainly putting them on the map – (he could do a lot worse), but the
constant attacks on him via the media seems all a bit suss.

With no other Governor in the country do we see such outrageous
attacks, do you ever ask why is this so?? Perhaps it is because they
are all buttoned up, just quite content to take a six figure salary
without making any meaningful contribution, is that what we want? I
think not.

Butler made comments on the Iraq situation at a businessman’s function,
that is not a state issue, yet he was blasted from all comers for doing
so, is that fair – I think not.

Today the Mercury carried a beat up of a sexual harassment and
blackmail story that had all the substance of a ping-pong ball, why? It
seems that certain media outlets have either their own agenda or a busy
pushing someone else’s.

I ask you to tell me just by reading the papers what any other Governor
in the country did today or yesterday, but with Richard Butler I bet
his attendance at whatever function will create another headline, even
if he does not open his mouth.

So in fairness, if you are going to follow the pack in bashing him, at least try to be balanced.


Hillary’s Senate maths

I wish to take issue with Hillary’s maths on Senate seats. If a
half-senate election is held the Coalition currently sits on 18 seats
not having to go to a vote this time around having been elected in
2001. Even if they only got 2 seats per state plus the territories that
would leave them with a minimum of 32 seats at a half senate election.
However they are almost certain to get at least 3 seats in Queensland
and WA. So my calculation is that they would have a minimum 34 seats
(possibly 33 if Garrett runs in ACT).
Don’t know how you get 29.

If a bath is looming, Howard and the Libs would give up his 18 sure
seats with a possibility of only getting 14 – 16 back if he went to a


Channel Ten news – any vision will do

Ten’s coverage of the ATSIC announcement in the Late News on Thursday
used new footage of the PM’s press conference and of Geoff Clark’s
response, as well as relevant file footage pertaining to the history of
ATSIC: Bob Hawke on a boat with aborigines, aborigines voting in the
ATSIC elections, etc. However, the closing image – without any
connection to the voice-over – was of what looked like the recent
events in Eveleigh Street, with aboriginal youths launching missiles.

Was someone at Ten suggesting that ATSIC’s abolition was somehow
related to the Redfern riot? Or was this just a typically ignorant
(“it’s a picture of aborigines so it’ll do”) bit of tabloid editing?

Stephen Downes

Poor footy coverage

I ventured to northern NSW to attend the Blues Fest in Byron Bay over
Easter and enjoyed a good time. Having been away from all forms
of media since Thursday, a Sunday morning break at a café in Bangelow
was, I thought, a perfect opportunity to catch up with what was
happening elsewhere.

I grabbed a copy of the Sunday Sun Herald and eventually made it to
page 100 which was listed as the AFL page in the sports section.
There was no real information amongst the page of words and pictures
that really helped me understand who had won in the 4 games played up
to Saturday night. By carefully studying the ladder I was able to
discern Collingwood lost to Brisbane on Thursday night and which teams
played on the day before. They were marked with an asterisk on
the ladder and the legend stated “played yesterday” but no further
results information was available.

It seems to me the page was put together on Thursday night or at
latest, Saturday morning with stories written earlier in the
week. Poor effort. Who says we need to relax the media
ownership regulations? Some of these guys need to be reminded
what news is.

Crikey Subscriber

Twenty-first century club rugby

The rugby club is an interesting example of inter-generational equity
at the moment. We are struggling to get volunteers this year – it looks
like 1st grade won’t be getting water run out to them on the weekend
and their jumpers won’t be getting washed.

The older generation won’t help because in their day you washed your
own jumper, you stayed and ran out water to the next team, you swept
the clubrooms the day after the game, and why should they do this for
the younger ones?

The younger generation either have a job that requires 50 hours a week,
or a casual job that requires them to leave for work straight after the
game, or a wife that they never see because they both work at different
times, or they are the one person out of a team of 15 that can help so
they end up doing everything. And we can’t let them wash their
own jumpers because they tend to go ‘missing’.

So we are now at the point of having to pay for cleaning, washing and
helping in the canteen, and that will just mean the younger generation
has to pay more money to play rugby. Is there equity in that?

Rugby Guy