[LINK] 'now we are listening'

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Tue Sep 8 17:37:19 AEST 2009

Last vestige of Trujillo era about to log off

by DAN OAKES The Age September 7, 2009

TELSTRA will shut down as soon as today its propaganda website, sweeping 
away one of the last vestiges of the Sol Trujillo era.

The axing of the website www.nowwearetalking.com.au is the latest sign 
that new chief executive David Thodey is determined to reshape Telstra's 
relationship with regulators, customers and the Federal Government.

As one former Telstra insider told BusinessDay while the board was in the 
process of selecting Mr Trujillo's successor: "Thodey's the kind of bloke 
who'd have a website called nowwearelistening instead."

The website was set up in December 2005 by Mr Trujillo's public affairs 
chief, Phil Burgess, to attack regulators and rivals, but it was at the 
heart of some of the more unsavoury incidents in Mr Trujillo's four-year 

Last year, Telstra PR staffer Rod Bruem wrote: "From what I've heard from 
people who've worked at SingTel Optus, [a] rotten, despicable culture is 
still at the core of that company. It is an arm of the Singapore 
Government, one of the most hideous totalitarian regimes in Asia."

Also last year, Labor Senator Kate Lundy said she was shocked and 
devastated after nowwearetalking posted an article, again by Mr Bruem, 
accusing her of debating telecommunications issues without disclosing her 
marriage to David Forman, head of the Telstra critic the Competitive 
Carriers Coalition.

Mr Thodey has reached out to Government and regulators such as the 
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission since his appointment in 
an effort to repair relationships damaged during the Trujillo era.

Only two weeks ago, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, Deirdre 
O'Donnell, endorsed what she said was Telstra's new, co-operative 

It is believed that Telstra is looking at opening a new portal as part of 
its main website, with more emphasis on feedback from customers.


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