Turnbull & Windsor on the NBN

In the last few days of November I was trawling either Hansard or Open Australia, I don’t particularly remember which. These days I think it is more likely the latter.

I came across this passage from Turnbull:

The member for Lyne said that this is an ugly way to go about achieving structural separation. He is absolutely right. It is also unprecedented, unjust and unnecessary, and it comes with an enormous cost to the taxpayer that will not deliver what we seek to achieve with telecoms reform, which is universal and affordable broadband.

Subsequently I tweeted to @TurnbullMalcolm says that structural separation is “unprecedented, unjust and unnecessary” and now we can dismiss all he says on the issue.

To which he promptly replied: “I have supported structural separation – so you are wrong on that point.”

I went on to say

“I was quoting Hansard. Apologies if I took you out of context. Though it didn’t seem to be. 16/11/10”

Turnbull replied:

RT @TurnbullMalcolm: @Senexx I agree w struc. sep’n – opposed the gun at the head way of achieving it. #auspol #NBN

I replied:

the only alternative was to do nothing. Something always better than nothing. See T. Windsor’s points on years of delay.

Malcolm’s final words were:

the weakest justification for bad policy is “alternative is do nothing” – alternative is good policy well considered.

My final reply was:

I disagree with you that it is bad policy. I commend you on attempting amendments for it. A lesson the rest could learn

Another Tweeter by the name of Dave Braue joined the conversation and asked Malcolm:

Do you really think Telstra would have ever done it voluntarily? Malcolm Turnbull seems to think it would have happened on its own

What happened between that pair from there I do not know.  In fact I’ve just looked it up and Turnbull said:

with the approp pricing regulation along utility lines, yes it wd have been in tls interest to do it.

Nevermind the advocacy of structural separation from several organisations prior to the T3 sell off of Telstra and well before that by Peter Andren and the rest of regional and rural Australia. It is quite clear that it would never have occurred on its own & that the coalition government was too wound up in it’s own ideology to enforce the pricing regulation that Malcolm refers to, if only they had been pragmatists.

If all this was done correctly in the first place, the NBN wouldn’t even be necessary.

Turnbull has been shown up for his own naivety.


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