[LINK] Telstra's FttN a NoGoNetwork

Chris Maltby chris at sw.oz.au
Tue Oct 10 14:57:16 AEST 2006

> On Tue, Oct 10, 2006 at 12:10:38PM +1000, Chris Maltby wrote:
>> The current government has failed as spectacularly as the previous
>> one to deliver a competitive communications market in Australia.
>> Their failure has been due to their ideological belief in privatisation
>> and their need for cash to fund electoral pork barrels.

On Tue, Oct 10, 2006 at 01:25:04PM +1000, Craig Sanders wrote:
> ideological belief, yes. need for cash, no - they've had embarassingly
> large surpluses the last few years, so much that they've struggled
> to get rid of it ...

The cash from T1 and T2 funded an amazing amount of pork. This
government wins elections with a combination of fear and greed. You
need buckets of loose cash to sustain the greed side without it
looking like it's a tax-and-spend fit-up. Enter Telstra...
And don't forget the huge fees paid to their mates in the broking
game for selling it all to the punters.

> speaking of privatisation, one thing that most commentators miss
> completely is the link between privatisation and skills shortages
> privatisation, coupled with severe underfunding of TAFEs (and
> universities), is why there's a skills shortage now.

Quite so. It's also another ideological weakness - they think that
education is primarily of private benefit to the student/apprentice
and so they should pay the bulk of the cost. After all, if you went
to an "exclusive" private school and studied corporate law at a
sandstone university, the assumption about who benefits most is
reasonably correct.

They miss the benefits that society as a whole receives from having
access to a larger pool of usefully educated people (ie, not corporate
lawyers). Furthermore, their experience of university was that their
ideological enemies seemed to benefit more from cheap education than
they did so paying them back by cutting the budgets is only natural.

It's the kind of post-hoc logic that leads to a decision to privatise
a monopoly business before protecting the interests of its customers.


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