COMMENT: Why NBN Boss is Right & Hysterical Socialist Journalists Are Wrong
I have dealt with NBN chairman Ziggy Switkowski firstly at Kodak, where he was CEO and then when he was the CEO of Telstra and I have always found him to be an honourable man, who tells you directly what he is thinking.
He is also a smart talented executive who knows how to get a job done which is what he is doing right now with the role out of the NBN in Australia, which based on current numbers is ahead of the roll out targets predicted by the current management team at NBN.
What is pitiful is the constant banging on by Fairfax Media and so called specialist technology media and Labor politicians, who are now claiming that Switkowski, wilfully breached caretaker conventions during an election campaign and did so against the express advice of the nation’s top public servant.
The media attaching Switkowski are primarily champagne socialist journalist who would not have a clue how to run a small business let alone understand how large corporations like the NBN need to be run in the interests of all Australians.
As for Fairfax Media, the Company is on one hand advocating socialist editorial, attacks on businesses driving the economy, and a deliberate campaign of misleading information about the Turnbull Government while going out the door backwards because their editorial is not focused at the audience that their advertisers are trying to reach.
The journalists at Fairfax who are now attacking the NBN, are same writers that have not worked out that the core audience for the Age and Sydney Morning Herald are conservative individuals with money and in middle to senior executive jobs, these people are more interested in cost control than rampant expenditure on projects that will never deliver a return if managed by Labor.
This audience is turning off the drivel and bias dished out by Fairfax Media to the extent that both publications are facing the axe Monday to Friday.
It’s was only yesterday that the CEO of Fairfax Greg Haywood came out and said that the future for Fairfax was not left wing editorial and mastheads like the Age and SMH but content system like Stan, The Domain and car advertising.
He said that the “inevitability” of a weekend-only print model for some mastheads was now on the cards.
“Our view is the trajectory of Domain, and there is no reason why that trajectory won’t be maintained, the performance of Stan, and the potential of Drive we believe is going to add significant shareholder value over a couple of years,” he told The Australian Financial Review.
Then we have Opposition Leader Bill Shorten accusing the NBN chairman of a “shameful breach”, of protocol, ironically Shorten chose to remain very silent when the former CEO and labor backer Mike Quigley also broke protocol and delivered an attack on the Coalitions broadband policy three days out from the Election back in 2010.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has already come out and said that he is standing by Switkowski and rightly so.
The bottom line is that he wrote a piece during an election campaign, despite advice to the contrary. so what! He did what was in the best interests of the NBN, their staff and all Australians.
If you take a litmus test in the electorates both the public and business will tell you that they are bored by the constant hammering away at the NBN by Labor politicians who have been described by one of their own, Emma Husar who is standing for the seat of Lindsay as people who “lie, steal and cheat”.
All they want is the job finished in a cost effective manner.
As for Switkowski and the management team at the NBN who are still putting out fires created by the likes of Mike Quigley the former CEO of the NBN and Senator Stephen Conroy the former Communications Minister, whose sole objective was to spend billions on the NBN at the expense of infrastructure, health and investment in industries that can actually create wealth is that he will not allow money to be spent on a futile investment on fast broadband, that will only be used at the fastest levels achievable by a very small amount of Australians.
One left leaning technology journalist has even had hysterics by calling for a Royal Commission into the NBN without any regard as the cost of running an NBN.
This is a journalist who was so confident in a book that he wrote about technology that he had to call for crowd funding to get it off the ground. He is also the same journalist who when is web site failed to generate enough revenue to support himself quite to take a job working with the Greens. He then reactivated his web site after quitting politics.
What a load of crap !
Let’s come back to some basic mathematics which is what both Switkowski and Turnbull are better at than Conroy and the leader of the Labor party Bill Shorten.
Australia has around 9.1 million households, 560 businesses employing over 1000 people or more.
And according to the ABS There were 2, 132,412 actively trading businesses in Australia as at June 2011, this has risen marginally in 2016 to around 2,240,000 in 2016.
This means that 9.1 million households and 2.4 million business are going to have to fund the ongoing cost of the NBN roll out which is estimated to cost between $46 and $50 Billion dollars which when divided up between 9.1 Million households and 2.1 million businesses is one hell of a lot of money especially as the take up of the NBN has predominantly been for the slowest package on offer.
In Tasmania and Armidale for example where the NBN has already been rolled out more than 80% of people chose the cheapest and slowest option.
There is also another issue that journalists like Renai LeMay at Delimiter are not getting is that while some 94.7 percent of Australian businesses now have Internet access, only 48.6 percent have a Web presence and just 33.8pc of them receive order by the Internet, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
This has nothing to do with speed or fibre or delivering business a faster throughput.
Stat’s latest Business Use of IT report for the period up to and including the 2014-15 financial year also reports that only 34pc of all businesses use social media.
During the year ended June 30 2015, the stats also reveal that only half of all Aussie businesses placed orders by the Internet – but this varied tremendously according to industry.
Only 33% of transport, postal and warehousing industries placed orders or used the Internet to run their businesses.
The report also indicates 21% of businesses have innovation in development, most in marketing methods where the current speeds being delivered over copper or cable are suffice.
What Ziggy Switkowski did was rise above the hysterical politics that the NBN has become especially in an election year and set some matters straight following the hysterical over reaction to his comments, which came about after the Australian Federal Police raided the office of Victorian Labor senator Stephen Conroy and the home of an opposition staffer during the first week of the campaign.
The raids followed a series of stories published by Fairfax Media in late 2015 and early 2016 revealing leaked confidential internal reports exposing blow-outs in time and cost within the giant operation.
These were documents that were stolen from the NBN, so it is only right that as Chairman he can actually correct several wild claims made by journalists who are being fed mistruths by Labor.
The bottom line is that the NBN chairman’s position is not under a cloud after Fairfax published his article, nor should it be as he is doing an excellent job of delivering accountability and above all rational and effective cost control, to a project that is one of the biggest infrastructure projects currently being undertaken in Australia.
The NBN is all about costs and the effective management of a project that is fraught with problems and potential unforeseen cost blowouts which have to be managed. This is what the current Government is doing.