Could it be that Friday’s spray at Telstra’s big presentation at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay was no accident?

According to Telstra spokesman Rod Bruem, the Telco’s corporate security staff were told by the fire brigade that the unexpected spray was caused by “a light installed on the lighting rig too close to a sprinkler.” The company is satisfied with this explanation, he said, and “the only further investigation we’re now doing is a test on what was in the water because there were worries about people being sprayed.”

Not so fast, says Alan Hay, CEO of Haycom, the technical event management company responsible for Friday’s presentation. According to Hay the lighting designer responsible for rigging the light had more than 35 years’ experience and rigged it a safe distance from the sprinkler.

He says testing since Friday’s incident shows there’s no way the light could have given off enough heat to reach the 68-74 degree threshold at which the sprinkler is set to activate. On two tests it reached 34 degrees and 40 degrees with the light in its current position.

So could there be something to the rumours doing the rounds in Sydney that Telstra has fallen prey to industrial sabotage? Could someone have moved the light or tampered with the sprinkler?

When Richard Nixon wanted to stop leaks he put together a shady group of operatives known as “the Plumbers”. And Trujillo has made a lot of enemies in Australia, from the Prime Minister down.

Welcome to Telstra-gate…

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW