Aug 3, 2017

If marriage equality doesn’t wreck the government, NBN or Murray-Darling disasters might

If things weren't already terrible for the government on marriage equality, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are front and centre in two other big problems.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

While the government goes to pieces over marriage equality, some holding operations have become necessary on two other major fronts, both of which, in normal circumstances, would be significant medium-term problems.

One is the NBN. The government is now facing the consequences of its decision to wreck the project by switching to Fibre To The Node/Fibre To The Some Other Random Point Short Of Your Premises where it could, and using handpicked consultants, handpicked board members and handpicked executives to oversee the debacle. Malcolm Turnbull owns the whole project now, which after four years can no longer be blamed on Labor.

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42 thoughts on “If marriage equality doesn’t wreck the government, NBN or Murray-Darling disasters might

  1. Graeski

    Karma’s a bitch.

  2. Xoanon

    The government deserves all the pain it’s receiving re its nobbling of the NBN. The entire point of the NBN was, surely, to increase minimum Internet speeds. As people find they’re paying the same for a less reliable service, they’re entitled to be angry.

    1. brian crooks

      turnbull took over a rolls royce NBN and put a mini minor engine in it, he deserves the fate that will befall him, he`s just a lackey to the illiterates of the mad right, ideologically, not policy driven fools, in this circus turnbull is the head clown.

  3. zut alors

    Turnbull bears the NBN shame 100% – he followed the destructive orders of a fool (Abbott) & transformed Rudd’s excellent NBN into a third rate mess. Perhaps Turnbull should’ve been renamed the Minister for Uncommunications. I still can hear the cries of the LNP back during the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd era, castigating Labor for the expensive & slow roll-out. With hindsight, it was slow because it was being implemented carefully & correctly.

    Watching this particular chicken come home to roost is bitter-sweet.

    1. bjb

      “castigating Labor for the expensive & slow roll-out. ”
      Given that Turnbull’s “faster,sooner,cheaper” model is none of that, but is costing just as much as the FTTP rollout was projected, and it not being completed any sooner – every one of the things Turnbull said his MTM would be, it isn’t.

      1. [email protected]

        Turnbull’s “faster, sooner, cheaper” model is costing a lot more than Labor’s FTTP model was projected to cost. More money for an inferior product that was obsolete before they began to roll it out!

      2. Thumbnail in Tar

        In a previous work environment that was extended to “faster, cheaper, sooner – choose any two. Even that now seem optimistic.

    2. Lee Tinson

      No hindsight required. Always remember that what politicians say is unlikely to resemble facts or truth. They just said it was slow. Doesn’t mean it was. They managed to cast “expensive” as a pejorative, when it would actually have been worth it at twice the cost. The best one was Turnbull’s throw-away line about how he expected new (unspecified) technologies would turn up during the life of the project to bring prices down because …. well, because. Really? A new technology to out-perform fibre? Whatever Turnbull was in the past, he hasn’t been for a long time now.

  4. bjb

    Turnbull is 100% responsible for the NBN debacle. He deserves to be remembered by history as the politician who wasted 10’s of billions of dollars of tax payer money purely for spite.

  5. Nudiefish

    It’s like watching a fire-eater perform in a fireworks factory.

    1. mike westerman

      That at least takes some skill. This is more the “pissed as a fart he lights up a ciggie while filling the tank” type stupidity.

  6. rhwombat

    Has anyone seen or heard from Beetroot McFootblaster since he shot his mouth off at the pub?

    1. klewso

      Apparently Jethro’s up in here Q “to throw a clean coal fired turd on the table” ….. that should distract us?

      1. Jimbo

        Kwelso. Apparently, Jethro’s up in here Q “to throw a clean coal fired turd on the table”
        That is good. You are needed as a Labor speech writer.

        1. klewso

          Thanks, it was either that or “to pull out his clean coal fired slug and drop it on the table”.

  7. tonysee

    ‘… and at the expense of South Australia.’
    True and our Jay’s quite happy to be seen to be putting the boot into ‘upstreamers’ with an election not too far away.
    Beyond that, the temptation to do what you like upstream and bugger the consequences downstream will eventually have implications everywhere. The river is part of a system, you see.

    1. MJM

      Yes. Weatherill appearing together with Senators Wong, Hanson-Young, Xenophon AND Bernadi was quite a sight and one that actually showed the Senators meeting the original Senate aim of being a States’ house.

      1. Jack Stepney

        32 weeks until South Australian election and Weatherill, who really after 16 years of Labor government should have no chance, has just been handed a couple of lifelines, both courtesy of the Federal Coalition government – one on water and one on energy (we’re quite proud of our renewables here). Things are getting interesting at the colon end of the Murray!

        1. tonysee

          And ScMo walks in and compares big batteries to big bananas. Jay should send that man a bottle of Grange (on the QT of course!).

          1. mike westerman

            Empty bottle of course, to go with the empty mind

      2. Jack Stepney

        32 weeks until South Australian election and Weatherill, who really after 16 years of Labor government should have no chance, has just been handed a couple of lifelines, both courtesy of the Federal Coalition government – one on water and one on energy (we’re quite proud of our renewables here). Things are getting interesting at the colon end of the Murray!

  8. Jimbo

    I long to see Labor get the balls to attack the NBN front. It is a major weakness of Turnbull and the LNP. They know the media has done such an amazing job of convincing the community that it was a Labor stuff-up and will continue that they dare not take on that brawl. We hear repeatedly Turnbull say that “he fixed Labor’s mess’ We are not given much of a rebuttal. One mention of the NBN in news articles raises such a furore from people hostile with Turnbull and his mob that it is clear that it is shaky ground for the Turnbull Government. The mainstream media is lying low on the subject. Why would Murdoch allow it to enter a major debate?

    1. Duncan Gilbey

      At it’s inception, the FTTP NBN was seen as direct competition to Foxtel and was bagged as an unnecessary waste of money.
      With the advent of Foxtel’s streaming services, high internet bandwidth has become a necessity. News Ltd (again) has a vested interest and now needs fast broadband.
      I think we will see more negative pieces on the NBN roll-out by News Ltd.
      Rupert may be cynical, but he’s no fool.

      1. Will

        That’s an interesting observation, Duncan. But on the other hand you also have to ask, is Murdoch in it only for the money? He certainly appears to hate any hint of egalitarianism, such as the FTTP NBN model embodied, far more than he loves money. (Why else, for example, would he the keep the serial, serious loss-making Australian newspaper alive?) But still, I think you are correct in suggesting that the Murdoch press will join the critique of the Abbott government’s NBN at some point. When business and voters realise they’ve been swindled and begin to complain loudly en masse, I’d wager that the Murdoch press will seize it as an opportunity to blame it all on Turnbull, who we know they detest for what they see as his closet egalitarianism. Logic won’t into it. Rupert is way past logic.

  9. Dog's Breakfast

    How the Nationals can survive, theoretically as the representative of the agriculture and regional communities, while at the same time supporting irrigation theft and coal-seam gas, just beggars belief.

    What is doubly mind-bending is that come the next election the LNP will score over 45% on a two party preferred basis, which is a reflection of the effects of preferential voting, and moreso that there are a huge number of rationally-challenged people out there who will place the LNP ahead of Labor.

    They should score in the 30’s, even after the last preferential vote is done. Wake up Australia, Tony Abbott’s ‘worst government ever’ is being challenged for the title by Malcolm Turnbull 2.0 government, and it’s going down to the wire as to which one history will give the nod to.

    1. 124C4U

      I now live in a National Party owned electorate and it has me frying my brain trying to find out why. Sure I moved there, I mean why people vote NP. The main answer seems to be that the Locals think the two local members state and fed are really nice blokes. Also that their family since Great Grumpa have voted NP.
      Facts do not come into it,plus the old belief that Lab, are lower class and poor money managers.
      To illustrate, the LNP (state) closed the local rail service, locals went ballistic but the LNP did nothing. Eventually an independent got elected and got the railway back. JOY and Jubilation throughout the land. Next election LNP got back! Work that out.
      I also think that LNP voters will vote for anybody, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Kim Sing Song and the like, as long as they are on the LNP ticket. That is Our Mob is always good. Don’t mention Greens around here, and only Peasants, druggies, dole bludgers, and no hope two tooth beanie wearers vote Lab.
      And they are all crooked anyway.
      Vote Independent – hell no We couldn’t even consider it.

      1. mike westerman

        Which underlines how much politics is ultimately about identity and kin selection, than any rational impulse. Progressive politics means change which means uncertainty – better the fuckwit or embezzler you know than the angel you don’t.

    2. Marion Wilson

      The National Party exists because those people out in the sticks believe that it is the old fairly respectable “Country Party” with a Doug Anthony clone at the wheel coasting along keeping the tax dodges and perks rolling out for farmers. Farmers don’t pay taxes, they have been farming for generations and have an accountant who knows what works. They don’t care what political party is in government, the Country Party legend is fine when it is time to tick the squares. No political party would dare take away the farmer’s perks like negative gearing,family trust, income splitting and diesel rebate.

      1. bushby jane

        Yeah, the diesel rebate needs revisiting!

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