30 June 2013

Since Wednesday night

Setting aside the familiar travesty at Lang Park, what happened on Wednesday night was that Labor MPs stampeded against two big issues that they had feared and avoided until then. They had feared the power of right-wing union bosses over their preselections, and they had feared having Rudd return to re-impose his micromanaging/dithering style of governance. What also happened was that they caved before the media embargo against Gillard (of which more in another article yet to be published) in the hope that Rudd might enable some coverage of actual government policy, and with it a case for re-election that was denied to them under the anti-Gillard embargo.

Over the period 2007-10, Kevin Rudd irritated a lot of people in caucus through backflips and backdowns publicly, and in private snubbing and bawling-out and other forms of rudeness. People in caucus complained but ultimately did nothing. Only when this behaviour came to alarm a few union leaders was action taken against Rudd: they phoned members of caucus over the evening of 23 June 2010 and told them that they were to vote for Gillard, which they did. The lesson in sheer power terms was clear: powerful people step up and act while powerless people sit around and whinge.

In the first week of the election campaign, Tony Abbott's campaign to become Prime Minister stalled over his inability to sound convincing when talking about workplace relations (a mistake he has compounded this year, with his no-mark workplace relations policy that Eric Abetz all but disowned in a debate with Shorten at the National Press Club). Rudd leaked to Laurie Oakes and Labor people haven't forgiven him for that. In the period since, Rudd knew that the union leaders hadn't shifted: that's why he was belted last March and dodged the challenge earlier this year. It was still fair to regard those guys as the drivers of caucus.

The unions haven't rolled out a supportive campaign for the ALP like they did in 2007; this doesn't mean the ALP needs to trash the unions but they are entitled to wonder what they are getting in return for being lorded over. Now that the ALP's preselections for the coming election have all been settled, and there is nothing to lose, why not ignore the small number of union leaders who won't help you and can't touch you? After the election you can rebuild those fences if you need to.

As to Rudd's micromanaging/dithering style, its persistence is unclear from this angle (and do you reckon journos will pick it up this time? Fool me once, etc.). If this style has changed, it will be a value-add brought by latecomers to Team Rudd like Crean, Wong, and Shorten, rather than thick-and-thin loyalists like Chris Bowen or Bruce Hawker insisting that Rudd has "changed" in some undefinable way. If they don't win the election it doesn't matter; if they do, they had better work out some arrangement whereby Rudd's staff is imposed upon him or something, but then if they had done that after 2007 they would be in a different position today.

The idea that the micromanaging/dithering style is fixed in place is fascinating only to those who give Tony Abbott the benefit of the doubt. On and since Wednesday night we learned, again, that Abbott can't deal with foreseeable events. He was caught out when Gillard replaced Rudd in 2010. He was caught out when Gillard thrashed Rudd in March 2012. The Coalition look like the little pigs from the fable who built their houses from straw and sticks, unaware that the wolf could even do the huff-and-puff until the wreckage literally and undeniably lay strewn around them.

Abbott claims to have learned the lessons from Hewson's time in 1990-93, but I don't think he has: when Labor replaced Hawke with Keating in 1991 the Coalition's game changed, but their tactics never accommodated the new and fiercer opponent. Only last week the Coalition said that Rudd had been "assassinated" in 2010, a stupid line for a country where the practice is almost unknown. Rudd seems to have been de-assassinated in a way that simply isn't possible for John Newman or Donald Mackay.

Eventually, the Coalition will come up with a line of attack against Rudd. It will almost certainly involve a lot of crocodile tears about poor Julia Gillard. If Abbott really was "the best Opposition Leader ever", or even a good one, he would have shifted seamlessly to counter Rudd so that Labor appeared to flounder no matter who led them. Rudd has, as David Jackmanson points out as AusVotes2013, anticipated the Coalition attack and pretty much blunted it already.

Since Wednesday the Liberals held a US-style rally starring the prissy Bruce Billson and the repellent Sophie Mirabella (prediction: neither will be re-elected). They introduced John Howard, who became cranky in referring to Rudd - 2007 all over again. If you believe Howard embodied, or even led, an era in which Australia was comfortable and relaxed, then you should only wheel him out in public when he's feeling that way. Mr Comfortable and Relaxed was never convincing as an attack dog. The two Labor leaders who beat him (Hawke and Rudd) knew that a serene leaderlike pose was the best way to counter his attacks. Howard saw off three Labor leaders (Keating, Crean, and Latham) who made him look calm and avuncular by contrast, and another (Beazley) who was not so much calm as complacent. Cranky Howard is worse for the Liberals than no Howard at all. Cranky Howard looks like he is driving Abbott behind the scenes, as though Abbott isn't his own man - however true that is, it's a perception for which the Liberals can't afford to offer more support.

Since Wednesday night we learned that the consensus of the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery is not only meaningless, but actually works against telling us how we are governed. At the start of this month people like Barrie Cassidy confidently asserted that the Rudd challenge was really on, drawing on the full depth and breadth of their experience and credibility to make the Big Call. They simply assumed that their credibility had remained intact after three years of log-rolling and jabbering on this subject. Then they said that the steam was coming off any (imagined) Rudd challenge - at the very point when caucus members like Penny Wong and Bob Carr were actually telling Prime Minister Gillard that they would not be voting for her. This was worse than the usual dreary beat-up. What the press gallery reported was the direct opposite of what was happening.

There is quite the debate in journo circles about how far you go to protect your sources, and almost all journalists agree that it is better to tell your audience less than the full truth in order to protect your sources. In this case, however, we already know who the press gallery use as their pro-Rudd sources: any MP who quit or was sacked over the past three years (or overlooked, in the case of Doug "mind mah tea" Cameron). We know now that their sources have led to press gallery journalists reporting the opposite of the truth - insisting that there was a challenge when there wasn't, and vice versa - to the point where the press gallery consensus simply can no longer be trusted as a source of information about federal politics.

Pampered journos such as those in the press gallery go to industry events where they are regaled with tales of danger by other journalists who dodge writs from Sydney property developers, bullets from Mexican drug gangs or rocket-propelled grenades from Western Asian fundamentalists. They think they have something in common with those people, but they don't. Look at the English-language news outlets from North Korea, Zimbabwe, and Iran - note the skirting of major political issues within those jurisdictions, the simple recitation of government announcements and quotes without verification or context, lots of passive voice, and the assumption that the official PR-heavy activities of the great and good are all there is to 'politics'. That's the type of journalism with which Australian press gallery journalism is most closely aligned - not the derring-do, truth-at-all-costs work that attracts gullible people to fundraising dinners.

On Wednesday night Bob Carr claimed that a number of asylum-seekers who come to Australia by boat are "economic migrants" (like my Scottish forebears in the 1830s, presumably). It's clear that detention is an idea that has to be tried and failed before it will be abandoned. I don't know how many more people will have to be drowned at sea or banged up in the various detention centres before that will happen, in the same way that it wasn't clear that 43 is the number of Australian servicemen who had to die in Afghanistan (and may there be no more).

Mandatory offshore detention will work for Labor at this election because it is the middle ground between the do-nothing/laissez-faire option, and the creepy cruelty offered by Scott Morrison and the Coalition. Beyond that, it is a policy that can't work either to reduce the flow of asylum-seekers to Australia, or to process asylum claims in a more systematic way. Despite having failed, it cannot be abandoned straight away but abandoned it will be eventually; along with the high-minded criticism that it is cruel and inhumane and in breach of our international obligations, this policy will come to attract the contempt that is due to all impractical, pointless, expensive, window-dressing policy measures.

I miss Julia Gillard and I still think she could have turned it around and beaten Abbott, and could would should might have been a better Prime Minister than she had been. The polls do not disprove this. I suppose nothing will prove or disprove it, but this is my blog and that is what I reckon.

We haven't seen a policy wonk like her in the Prime Ministership since Deakin. Australian Labor is still playing catch-up since it failed to rethink its purpose to the extent that other social-democrat governments did in the 1930s and '40s, but Julia Gillard has brought them almost up to date. I'm fairly unsentimental when it comes to Labor as a delivery mechanism for policy outcomes, but I stand in awe of the sheer love in this piece, and with it the notion that progress is meant to be made, set back, reassessed and moved forward again, whether at the general political and policy level or at the lives of particular little girls and their family.

The appalling sexism that was piled onto Gillard particularly (but not only) toward the end of her Prime Ministership has brought sexism and gender issues into the centre of public debate like nothing else had, or perhaps ever could have. The scrutiny of the Gillard government's cuts to welfare payments for single parents is almost unprecedented for its breadth, prevalence and quality across both traditional and social media. The debate over sexism in the military is no longer a litany of isolated incidents as it was under previous governments, but a systematic one demanding to be addressed at the highest level. Serious analysis from a gender perspective has arrived at the centre of how we understand the national debate rather than being a perennial but fringe issue. Rudd's promise to increase the number of female ministers will only increase the applicability of gender analysis on government; expect more feminist breakdowns of the budget and other issues on which gender perspectives had touched only in passing.

Since Wednesday night much has changed, but much abides. The press gallery has failed the nation, its employers, and the politicians who sustain them; it has no future in its current form. The Coalition is left with, as the masterful Piping Shrike observes, "an unpopular leader ... with policies that the electorate doesn’t especially like", and too late to change either much. Labor wants to be both reformist and risk-averse: good luck with that, but then that seems to be what the country wants too. We are a have-your-cake-and-eat-it kind of people.


  1. Why do you think that both Bruce Billson and Sophie Mirabella will be defeated?

    1. Mirabella will lose to Cathy McGowan, and Billson is part of a policy-lazy team in a state that's on an anti-Liberal roll.

    2. Mirabella was annoying on q and a last night

      There was a nasty animosity between her and Plibersek

      Quite sad to watch really


    3. Hmm, the voters in Indi around Wangaratta and Wodonga are pretty hidebound, and seem to be able to ignore Mirabella's incompetency. I see what you mean by the anti-Liberal sentiment in the state, but there's quite a big gap to cover.

      At least now there's less likelihood of her being in a position where she can do any real damange.

    4. But Cathy McGowan is a local girl with a high local profile in rural affairs from a prominent family. Her father was a National Party heavy

  2. Andrew,

    Back in June 2010 I wept in rage and despair at the sight of Ms Gillard about to be thrown to the wolves.

    Ms Gillard, whom I had seen as potentially the first, and possibly the greatest, woman prime minister.

    In 50 years or so time she might be acknowledged as such. I hope I'm around to see that - you are younger than me, so I hope you get to see her due recognition.

    I am finding it difficult to contain my fury - but somehow I will manage to vote for the "progressives", because the alternative is beneath contempt.

  3. I watched Wednesday's events on sky, speers was declaring the result well before the returning officer had come out. The thing I found interesting was that speers had said that 'our sources' inside the meeting are telling us that Rudd has won. The labor party continues to leak, they are a time bomb just waiting to go off.

    Do you still say that Abbott will not be PM?

    As always I hope you are right.

  4. It has been interesting to see how impotent the coalition attacks on Rudd seem to be. For a possibility that was always at the back of people's minds they seem to done absolutely nothing to prepare for it. Or what little they have prepared is the sort of insider obsessive garbage that no real person cares about (ie any labor politician calling Rudd mean names)

  5. A superb analysis, as usual. The biggest story is the one that you have covered for some time:the monumental failure of the parliamentary press gallery to report on what was actually happening, to a level bordering on censorship. I think that your analysis is probably more reliable - collective and short-sighted stupidity, and a reckless disregard to their ethical responsibilities.

    Kerry-Anne Walsh's story will probably pass with barely a ripple, which is probably just as well for Rudd, and in the short term, our nation. Abbott must not be allowed anywhere near The Lodge. The Gallery and the rest of the sorry MSM will blithely ignore their shaming, as they ignored the impact of Gillard's Misogyny Speech. When exposed for that idiocy or censorship, they fell back on a concocted alibi of 'context'.

    So expect no regret or sorrow over what they have done to the nation and its institutions. That will only come with time, and not from them directly.

    Our history has continued the jerky pathway outlined by Manning Clark. So very close to greatness, but then we bugger it up, but in the wreckage we manage to salvage something from the noble experiment.

    Thanks you for your drawing of Gillard's greatness to as far back as Deakin. I had already been in awe of her and had rated her as the best since Curtin and Chifley.

    It is all too brief a glance at our better selves, just as Whitlam was. Over time, however, we seem more satisfied with shallowness and mediocrity.

    To the Lisa Simpsons of our nation, you have been warned. Never expect to be loved or respected. But go ahead anyway for the good of our nation and humanity.

  6. Are you refusing to acknowledge Suncorp Stadium Andrew?

  7. 'simple recitation of government announcements and quotes without verification or context, lots of passive voice, and the assumption that the official PR-heavy activities of the great and good are all there is to 'politics'. That's the type of journalism with which Australian press gallery journalism is most closely aligned'

    Only it's been simple recitation of opposition announcements and quotes without verification, recently.

    It will be interesting to see if this changes with the return of Chairman Rudd.

  8. Your banner headline is looking a lot more plausible today than it was this time last week.

  9. The press gallery are often backed into defending their support of the on-going leadership saga and they can FINALLY point to this and say, "See, look we were right ALL. THIS. TIME."

    We all know that this is bullshit and that their embargo on Gillard, precipitated the extended poor polling that eventually saw her off. This has really pissed me off and diminished my interest in Australian politics. I thought she could hold them off until the electioneering and then their embargo wouldnt matter. From here it didnt look like the Libs and News Ltd had a single dirty trick left and there would be nothing but clear, paid for air.

    I was seriously considering becoming involved in the Labor party. That is how much Gillard's actions and policy inspired me. Now, I am all disillusioned like and the other parties look pretty shitty really.

    Australia cannot go on letting these fucktards (technical term) dictate how the Government should run their media policy. They are on a slow road to death. I wish we could just speed it up exponentially.

  10. Forbes Magazine in it's "Ten Best Governments" rates the Gillard government at number 5 in the world. Those were the days.

    I look forward to reading "The Stalking of Julia Gillard" by Kerri Ann Walsh.

    History will give Gillard a good wrap. Labor can look back with nostalgia to a time when good government was about implementing good policy and not just waving a glossy brochure or hand combing the comb-over.

  11. Well today we seen Rudd claim the credit for NDIS.

    No, Mr. Rudd saying you would like to do something, and actually doing it. is difference.

    1. It is outrageous, Catching up, and you could almost imagine him adding on to it, "... but I was too much of a team player to claim any credit for it at the time."

      Still, if it helps get him over the line, it is safe, especially if he wants to claim bragging rights for it. I don't think Gillard would lose much sleep over it, especially if it becomes accepted public policy.

      It would be history if Abbott gets up, despite him complying to it when Gillard turned up the heat. JG will be quite satisfied if her policies and programs bear fruit. Albanese and nine women in the inner Cabinet offer a very strong sandbag against any possible Rudd rushes of blood.

    2. Azrael the Cat3/7/13 11:41 am

      If he's putting it in terms of the government or the ALP that's fair enough - 'we', not 'I'. Gillard didn't design the NDIS personally - and that's not a criticism either, that's what ministerial portfolios, public servants, cabinet and caucus are for. We don't live in a presidential system: our party leaders are installed and removed by the MPs of that party, under the influence of factional caucus leaders (and becoming a republic won't change that unless we also switch to a US-style presidential veto and President-appointed executive). Gillard illustrated that as much as anyone - she was practically drafted in after the caucus had already decided to sack Rudd as PM.

      I admire Gillard - though frankly I think that the ALP would have the same policies and legislation regardless of whose they had as figurehead (yes, our party structures do make the PM something of a figurehead) - same caucus, same outcomes. But saying that a PM from the same government can't claim that the government can count the policies they implemented that very same term as their own is absurd.

  12. There's also this about the Liberals dragging the zombie garden gnome of Australian politics, John Howard, out of the dustbin of history to fight for them again. Who was it that consigned him to the political dustbin the first time? Oh, that guy over there leading the Labor Party again!

  13. VoterBentleigh1/7/13 7:36 pm

    When Kevin Rudd surrounded himself with about 5 women during his announcement of the non-challenge, it was clearly a message that he represented women more than the Prime Minister and it was a signal that he had no intention of backing away from undermining Julia Gillard as leader. The fact that Julia Gillard could be ousted as leader and also driven from politics altogether bodes ill for women as leaders. The message is that women can take orders but not give them. When the ABC's Tony Jones made a comment about Julia Gillard using a knitting needle to stab someone in the back just after she assumed the leadership, this epitomised the attitude Gillard faced - why wouldn't she use a knife, just like a man?

    Acknowledging the former Prime Minister's achievements after the event means little. Rudd and his supporters consistently undermined her achievements, something Gillard never did to Rudd. Where were the Greens and Independents when Gillard's leadership was most at risk? All of them attempted to get political advantage for themselves when she was most under attack from the Coalition and her popularity was low in the polls. What good was it to give her support when she was gone? Yet without Gillard, the Greens and the Independents would not have been able to get up any legislation. Rudd would have dithered and shifted with each new poll and achieved little. Abbott would have given them nothing.

    All those from the left who so ferociously lambasted the Gillard Government on asylum seekers, the MRRT, Newstart, etc., and thereby actively reinforced the Coalition's narrative about Julia Gillard being the worst PM and the most unpopular, and all those gudgeons who believe the Coalition's barmecidal policies, deserve to get the Coalition band of battologers.

  14. I came to the realisation about a year and a half ago that no matter what happened, history would be kind to Julia Gillard. Here was a woman who was not afraid to take on the big issues - plain paper tobacco packaging, MRRT, Gonski, NDIS some examples - as well as leading in an assured manner. She was never shrill, she was never seen as dominant, she was middle of the road. It is, I believe, this style of hers which came about her undoing. Julia was a great manager who had an impressive grasp over the entire Cabinet's work, but she was never seen as a leader.

    Her replacement by Kevin Rudd has moved Australian politics backwards: it is now more than ever a popularity contest.

    1. It has become more hollow, but then that's what it seemed like in 2010.

  15. I miss her as well Andrew!!

    I read Nick Reeces piece in The Age about his time with her as a staffer

    Knowing from personal experience what shes really like, his article rings true

    Politics will attract women of calibre
    after Ms Gillard

    The power crazy,she devil variety sadly

    Maybe we need a Madonna in our nasty culture to survive??

    Wonderful analysis sir!!


    1. The attacks against her were absolutely DISGUSTING

      A sad indictment about those journalists and their pathetic excuse of a career

      Its made us a laughing stock over the world

      They should take a good hard look at themselves as people and the repugnant professional legacy they have left to be analysed by a phd student in their thesis

      Nasty and shallow dont mix with me!!


    2. Hi Andrew,

      Many thanks for your contribution

      When i look at members of our parliament and the media i think back to University

      Remember the idiots who gut drunk at a party and some oe them behaved like pigs??

      Guess where theyre working now??



  16. I too miss Julia Gillard and I miss the chance of having fought for her at the election.
    Rudd appeals to a different audience. Maybe the family voter as he was quick to show it was a church going family back in charge.
    Julia was more neutral and I liked that.
    Rudd has learned not do the mistake Gillard did and has given credit to her governments acheivments, but that's easy when there is no risk with Gillard and many of her ministers leaving politics.
    Will Rudd play safe and put the issue of vested interests interfering in democracy on the backburner?
    This is frusturating as the issue can not be delt with unless it is on high heat.
    Like a poster says we were close to greatness but now we have wait.


    1. Since I made that statement, orangefox, perhaps I should respond. It was a huge misfortune that Ms Gillard came to office the way she did. She did not even consider herself ready at that point, and that showed in her first few months.

      But in situations like that you cannot choose your moment. Rudd was clearly dysfunctional, alienating the ministry, the caucus and the public service, which makes it extremely difficult to get anything done. Rudd was very effective at media relations, but still ran into trouble when Abbott's overblown aggression the News Ltd lackeys and the mining industry all turned on him. There seemed a real prospect that Labor would lose after one term with nothing much to show for it.

      Gillard faced the prospect of the party disintegrating or a revolt. When she joined the revolt, she was the last domino standing, and might have remained but for Rudd trying to check her loyalty. With trust broken, she joined - in fact it might hardly have got off the ground without her leadership. Rudd, the media and Abbott-Liberals were able to paint this as stabbing in the back.

      It was used as a weapon for questioning her legitimacy, and the leaks that sabotaged her campaign were rarely referred to. The deadlocked result, and her subsequent brilliant negotiation with the independents to form a government were also used to challenge her legitimacy.

      What followed was nearly a miracle, and owes much to the integrity of the country independents Windsor and Oakeshott. Leaving aside the sabotaging stunts of Abbott and Pyne, it was an outstanding parliament, with reforms passed by the PM and her government placing it up there with Deakin, as Andrew mentioned.

      Gillard's greatness, even apart from what she achieved on carbon pricing, the NBN, disabilities and education, can also be measured by the greatness she brought out in others.

      It is a tragedy for Australia that she was brought down second-raters in journalism, hate radio, tabloid television, Tea Party Liberals, and Rudd white-anters. All showed a conspicuous lack of ethics and integrity.

      It is signally ironic that at one time, Laurie Oakes, the beneficiary of leaks of Cabinet information, at one point deplored the pygmies we had among our major party leaders. He had failed to notice the giant as PM. Perhaps it was that women were invisible to Laurie.

      Nor did he see that there were vastly more pygmies among he and his colleagues. All apparently committed to ignoring that truth of that parliament.

    2. Lachlan Ridge6/7/13 2:50 pm

      The fact that such pygmies cast such long shadows shows just how late in the day we are,

  17. Julia will be missed by many, of that I am sure, and history will be far kinder than were the msm/abc.I'm sure many will use the jump in the polls to justify the outing, but I think that Gillared would have been competitive.

    As for the tea party gathering/love fest attended by howard, I cannot help but feel that he may have plagiarised in part an article in IA and changed the players around.


  18. I was watching Toddlers and Tiaras

    The establishment and the She Devils in it remind me of these crazy kids

    Writing their mediocre and bias commentary to suit their agendas

    Look at me and how much i get payed at News Corp...,

    Business class yet for Adam Creighton ??


  19. interesting that there has been more scrutiny of Abbott in the last week than in the last 3 years (take Tim Colebatch's article in today's Age for instance). Adds weight to the Embargo proposition

  20. Lenore Taylor at the Guardian has an in depth detailed look at COALition policies.

    Well sort of, not really, more a cursory glance than a searching look.
    But it could be should be, the start of a new idea namely the media scrutinising the COALition.
    Should be anyway.

    I don't really think it will be tho'.


  21. "Tony Abbott will never be Prime Minister of Australia."

    So when will you update that to "may never"?

  22. Tea party mantra indeed!!

    Last state election in the area of Oakleigh Mr Zographos of the Liberal party put Sarah Palin on his facebook campaign

    Ridiculous and insulting to the Greek diaspora indeed

    Hellenes are well educated and thoughtful thinkers

    The Americanisation started long ago with these advisors and their whole strategy to become shallow and dumb


    1. Unfortunately there is a sizeable element in Greek Australian society that adheres to those type of value's.

      Savvas Tzionis

  23. Mr Elder on June 23rd - "Kevin Rudd is nowhere near getting the numbers to knock off Julia Gillard. This has been true every day for the last three years."

    Spot on, just like you are about Abbott

    Queensland Observer

    1. See paragraph 10, Qobsy - you'll have to count them yourself. All you've got is wishful thinking and less to show for your tax dollars.

  24. Interesting that Malcolm Fraser has supported The Greens with Sarah Hanson Youngs stance on Asylum Seekers

    Gerard Henderson still thinks this will not influence the election outcome

    Golly gosh ,what do you expect from Mr Henderson!!

    Liberal Stalwarts have seen the light of the rot within the party.

    Its always quite amusing to see when they retire they have a clear conscience and respectability

    1. Clear conscience and respectability?

      Have you seen Peter Reith?

  25. Andrew, you said of Kevin Rudd a few weeks ago that Rudd had ruled out taking over the team and was now working for the benefit of the then Gillard government. Obviously you got this wrong. An apology or acknowledgment that you read the situation incorrectly might be welcomed before you launch into your standard shtick lamenting the imperfections of other pundits.

    1. See my tenth paragraph above for why I got that wrong.

  26. Watched Shitsville with Hilderbrand on the a.b.c

    Hollow for the next gen is an understatement

    The Australian Sex Party is hilarious

    Bimboes do exist in politics

    God help us with crap like her ...youth is fun but this party is ridiculous

  27. The shallow creepy right wing has taken over from the deep right wing....

    Thanks for restoring that balance Andrew with your wonderful insights...

    Maybe there should be a breakaway movement from the Liberal party with you at the helm...

    Just an idea #


  28. The Victorian Womens Trust paid adverisement speaks volumes about our failed media

    The fourth estate have encouraged the nasty sense of narcissistic self entitlement by some of our political leaders

    They should hand their heads in shame!!

  29. error:

    Hang their heads in shame.

  30. Kevin Summers9/7/13 8:40 pm

    Who the hell do you think you are calling Bruce Billson 'prissy'? Pretty much like calling a Mirabella or a Gillard as "masculine".

    1. I've got my opinion Kevin, and you have yours. Your idea that Mirabella or Gillard are 'masculine' is pretty weird!

  31. Interesting comment on Bruce Billsons web page from a Mr.Ranken, Dont know if he ever got a reply,.... or his phone working! Comments
    # Arthur Ranken
    Monday, 8 October 2012 2:48 PM
    I have been having great difficulty with the telephone service in our court, (Arundel Court, Mt Eliza). So much so that I took up a pertition of all 20 residents in the court and got a discription of their problems as well. This with a covering letter was then sent to the Chief Executive Officer of Telstra in May2012 and copy to Bruce Billson's office. The problems mostly related to badly corroded 40 to 45 year old underground cable wiring causing phone connections to break, noisie telephone lines, very slow internet services and internet drop outs. Even with ADSL high speed broadband the internet service speeds are really no better than the old dial up braodband. Two proper telstra technitions spent 6 days replacing cables in the lower part of the court which helped some residents but others are still experiencing very slow internet and drop-outs including myself. Last week my phone was put on restricted servise after I had "no productive conversations" with 8 phillipino women in the phillipines call centre resulting on my being put on indefinate "Music Hold".! NBN Broad band conduets have been installed in Humphries Rd from Baden Powel Drive up to Overport rd. When I spoke to one of the workmen on that job they mentioned that a resident in Walkers Rd was complaining of phone line troubles such as we have been having in Arundel Crt. Thus it is likely that there are line corrosion problems through out the 'Woodland' Area of Mt Eliza which is all about 40 to 50 yeaars old. The Woodland area of Mt Eliza is about 750 Hectares of land between Nepean Highway,Humphries Rd. Moorooduc Highway and Canadan Bay Road in Mt Eliza. Extra details or further details can be obtained from the copies of my 2 letters (with about 15 pages attached over both letters) to the CEO of telstra which are in your Bruce Billson's office and you have my approval to access them (Referr to Cain in Bruce Billson's office). The workmen working on the NBN conduet instalations could not give me any idea at all as to when the NBN cables would be installed or when local connections might occure, may be years they said. My problems with telstra are still ongoing after about 5 months and 2 years plus of problems.