An Open Letter To Malcolm Turnbull

Dear Mr Turnbull,

I write this letter out of frustration & disappointment in your current discourse regarding the state & future of Australian telecommunications. I have been working in IT for almost 20 years & have been supportive of any positive change to Australia’s ailing copper network. Over the past few years you have done nothing but attempt to sabotage the largest infrastructure project Australia (maybe even the world) has ever seen, all for political gain while not considering the consequences of your actions.

After watching the speech you gave at Woodford Folk Festival I feel that your hypocrisy has gone too far.

You speak of truth in politics, of ‘one-line sound bites’, of the need for fact checking, yet you have spent the last year lying, using one-line sound bites, & denouncing those fact checkers you demand. When presented with evidence you are dismissive at best, downright ignorant at worst. When asked for your broadband policy documents, you refuse to hand them over to anyone. When asked for evidence to back up your claims, you attack the National Broadband Network.

I now have no doubt that not only do you not have any broadband policy, but you are actively deceiving Australians to help your leader, Tony Abbott, become Prime Minister. In some ways, this is far worse than being Tony Abbott himself. You know the destruction he has already caused, yet you still support him. You claim that you should learn from failure, yet you haven’t learnt from the failure that is the Coalition’s views on Australian communications infrastructure. In 2006 the then Howard government refused to invest in Telstra’s plan to install FTTN, yet now there is value in it when it is already out of date. Helen Coonan, like yourself, argued against upgrading Australia’s infrastructure with the same lines that you use (the technology will be superseded, it will cost too much, etc) while services outside major centres deteriorated.

The sound bites, the FUD, & the general arrogance that you know better than IT professionals needs to stop. You will never garner support those who rely on technology while you use glib lines like “an alternative technology or another way of leveraging existing technologies might come along and render this huge and supposedly ‘futureproof’ investment obsolete” (while investing in France Telecom), in fact, the opposite is the case. Many of us have worked in IT since before you became an MP, we have seen technology change, & we know more about the networks than you do. We understand that you ran OzEmail, which, to be honest, was a bit of a joke back in the 90’s, & no doubt while running OzEmail you relied heavily on technical experts to make decisions.

I ask only that you listen to technology experts, not your leader, for guidance on what the best fit for upgrading Australia’s infrastructure. The same sentiment you used to garner applause at Woodford Folk Festival should be used to guide you through 2013. Admit you don’t have a plan, admit that your previous rhetoric was baseless & designed to sabotage one of the biggest investments in Australia’s future.

I do hope you read this & realise that the best way to help the country is to support projects that will grow the economy, have a return on investment, & deliver parity of service to all Australians.





UPDATE: Malcolm Turnbull responded with this:

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An Open Letter To Malcolm Turnbull by Sortius is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
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  • Brad

    Malcolm Turnbull, you’d be more relevant if you actually answered questions rather then avoided them or outright lied, but your a politician, so i guess its expected at the end of the day.

    Its a pity you can’t come from behind your masters leash and express your real opinion on the NBN, because i actually suspect you know just as well as the whole entire IT sector, its needed and its reach is well and truly beyond just IT and “Porn”, but Tony said you either keep trying to destroy the NBN or your out of a job. Hopefully i’ll see you malcolm at the losing end of this years election and in ten odd years time you’ll be long forgotten in the pages of history and the next generation who will benefit from the NBN will wonder what all the fuss was about.

    If you really want to put your money where your mouth is malcolm, i’ll happily provide a 4G stick and cisco router and you run your whole electoral office off of it for a month and we will compare the speeds you say this wonderful 4G will give us with the real life speeds and see which is better and more reliable.

  • Truth Seeker

    sortius, well said, and what an absolute lying knob Turnbull is.

    What little credibility he had was gone after the Godwin Grech affair, and the way he has dealt with the NBN has just reinforced that he is as much a bottom feeder as the rest.

    Here are a couple of verses from my poem “Arsegate for beginners”

    There is also Malcolm Turnbull, whose hands are far from clean
    With his lies and obfuscation, on the NBN clearly seen
    As the brief for his portfolio was to seal our broadbandâ??s fate
    And although his heartâ??s not in it, it has proved his own arsegate
    And as a savvy tech head, he has sunk the Liberals boat
    As the Abbotts broadband policy is impossible to float
    And he knows that fibre optics works, but sold out the mother-load
    By adopting Abbotts policy of, arsegate to the node

    The rest of the poem can be found on my site if you are interested

    Keep up the great work.

    Cheers :grin:

  • Mark K

    For starters, I will keep to examples without getting too technical. The Coalition say their proposal is the Corolla and the govt NBN is Rolls Royce. That example is very misleading because if we travle on highway legally then both the Corolla and Rolls Royce can do max 100kmph. The difference is comfort and extras etc but not speed.

    To comapre apples and apples example, let’s say we want to get from Brisbane Airport to Sydney Airport. So to use the Coalition example of Corolla verses Rolls Royce then we would say NBN is like flying Quantas and Coalition is like flying Virgin or Tiger. Both using aircraft/jets, just different variety.

    However, that is not the same comparison for the NBN. The govt NBN is like flying Quantas but the Coalition is flying to NewCastle and then catching train from Newcastle to Sydney airport. Very different!

  • dafid1

    And that is Turnbulls mode of defense, reply with a question, a cowards response. He does it all the time, like Abbott he thinks we are too stupid to see through him. HE WILL LEARN.

  • Political Animal (@PolAnimalAus)

    I was at a meeting called by Andrew Southcott to hear Turnbull address his version of the NBN:

    Most at the meeting had trouble with the copper, couldnâ??t get ADSL etc etc. All meetings Turnbull addresses would have a similar high proportion of people with problems with the copper, yet Malcolm just glosses over that.

    You could respect him a tiny bit if he factored the rotten copper into his FTTN/HFC idiot plans but he refuses to do even that.

    His lack of costings is crap too. We know about 80,000 cabinets are needed, how much would it cost to buy, install, power these cabinets? Just ring the NZ Broadband Dept and they could give him how much it cost them!

    Let us face it, Malcolm knows his â??planâ? is utter hogwash. He wants a private NBN into which he can invest his money.

  • Ros (@roshart)

    I live in rural Vic. For our small communities to not only survive, but be sustainable and to flourish, we need the NBN. As climate change alters the face of our communities, and fossil fuels become more costly, making long-distance car travel to work less and less feasible, the NBN will ensure that rural Australia endures.