One of the magnificent projects of the current Australian Federal Labor Government is the NBN rollout. Fibre optic cable is being rolled out continent-wide to provide a national high speed internet network.
Last night, on ABC TV, a doco on Whitlam listed the incredible achievements of that gov; the equivalent effort of the current federal gov include this national cable rollout; in a couple of decades a younger generation will look up with wonder at the vision of this government; we can trip up politicians, we can repeat that joke about counting your fingers after having shaken hands with a politician. What should be wondered at is that any politician manages to arrive at a position of power still possessing any vision.
However, we sighed with frustration when Telstra announced that several potential asbestos scares were being investigated in western Sydney as part of the rollout there. Last week in a Senate committee, National Party Senator Abetz described Telstra’s activity as characterised by “indecent haste”. This enabled a journo interviewing the Telstra CEO today to wield that doom-laden phrase. However, it seems that in place of real evidence of wrong-doing, the opposition wages a fear campaign; rhetoric is their substitute for observation and re-telling of actual facts, in the hope that souped up rhetoric is enough to trip up the government.
What intrigues me is that more often than not, an opposition has to chide a government for inaction or slow progress; by contrast real progress has to be characterised as “indecent haste”.
What transpires is that there are no sinisterly heaped files of asbestos sites. A journo then tried to put another sinister twist onto the situation by asking how much the random testing for asbestos of these pits would amount to; the Telstra spokesman firmly announced that the cost was not relevant; asbestos was part of Telstra’s duties, and the company would not resile from its responsibility.