Incompetence, extravagance and an inability to properly plan

If ever there has been an example of the incompetence, extravagance and an inability to properly plan by the Gillard Government, this is it. They promised every high school student in Australia a computer and now find they cannot even remotely afford it. And this is today’s front page story in The Age!

THE federal government’s scheme providing high school students with laptop computers is on the brink of collapse, leaving parents with hefty bills and educators with a chaotic start to the school year.

Schools are already telling parents they must lease approved laptops for pupils this year, at a cost of hundreds of dollars. Some are telling students to bring their own computers, raising a raft of problems around internet capacity, security and provision of software, as well as placing pressure on low-income families.

They make a commitment to some sounds-good proposition, find they cannot afford it and leave behind a mess for someone else to fix. It is their pattern. Their promises are worse than worthless; their promises will cost you big time when reality finally hits. That the NBN went down early in the midst of the floods in Queensland is another example how this government is leading us backwards at every turn.

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65 Responses to Incompetence, extravagance and an inability to properly plan

  1. The Old and Unimproved Dave

    The Gillard government didn’t plan its 2010-13 flight.

    It’s more of a semi-controlled crash.

  2. Craig Mc

    There’ll be helicopters picking ALP members from the rooftop of parliament house before long.

  3. kae

    Craig Mc

    Surrounded by a sea of pitchforks?

  4. Gab

    Wonder how the “free” set-top boxes program is progressing? Over budget and schedule not met. Gee, it’s really really easy to give out over-priced, over-administrated freebies innit? No thought required, just ‘look, shiny new toy. now vote for me’.

  5. Tintarella di Luna

    And apparently the mortician’s dummy Garret is today calling for substance from Abbott, well he has to get substance from somewhere heaven knows his government is totally without substance oh and without stability too.

  6. Rabz

    an example of the incompetence, extravagance and an inability to properly plan by the Gillard Government

    This was yet another example of rudd getting it wrong, wrong, wrong.

    He was the genius ultimately responsible.

    Free computers for school kiddies. Yep, no potential whatsoever for that to be a taxpayer funded disaster.

    Who’s ever valued anything they’ve ever been ‘given’ for ‘free’???

    P.S. Gubberment can’t afford to give away the laptops? Best hit the ‘parents’ up then…

  7. Kaboom

    Clearly, it’s all the fault of AbbottAbbottAbbott, because HE is the one who will say “No more of this shit!” to the shrieks and approbration of the rentseeker community.

    How dare he endanger our children’s education!

    How dare he DENY their right to notebooks and iPads!

    Oh, the huge manatee…

  8. Lloyd

    Easy promise for Labor to make with 20bn in the kitty and rivers of gold from a commodities boom. Harder to do when the savings are blown and tax receipts are down. And they’ve brought it all on themselves.
    I’ve been racking my brains trying to remember if there’s a term for this sort of situation (like Pyhrric) but in the end I could only come up with “fucked”.

  9. Bethjl

    Steve, I took the time to look up Marcuse. “Liberating tolerance then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left”. Seems to pretty much sum up MSM today. With this sort of thinking it’s no wonder that everything the Left touches eventually ends up as merde.

  10. Rabz

    If people want computers, then pay for them yourselves, you morons!

    This handout mentality must be extirpated, root and branch.

  11. mundi

    What a joke the whole thing was.

    The government got the price of the computers down to about $600, but ended up paying about $2,500 per computer. $400 for software, and two year support and maintainance: $1,500 per computer! Unbelievable. No wonder they are broke.

    The state governments are even more pathetic, with IT costs surpassing $2,000 per computer per year in most states.

    This is a significant cost considering that the entire education of a student is somewhere around $6k to $12k per year….

  12. Gab

    Are schoolbooks also “free” courtesy of the giverment? If not, why not?

  13. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    “an inability to properly plan”

    … on the part of gullible parents for the possibility that promised “free stuff” might not be free.

    As Comrade Hilary would snarl “What difference does it make?”

    The free laptops for all the widdle kiddies helped get Comrade Dear Leader (in exile) over the line, and that is all that mattered.

    The parents who are copping the costs now have nothing to whinge about because that is exactly what they voted for, they welcomed the con and the same dills would do it again.

  14. Adrien

    I can’t believe they haven’t dropped this being so monumentally stupid.

    According to the figures in the article the per unit cost of the laptops is $2505.73! It’s like a program to give everyone a crappy Chinese hatchback for the price of an SUV.

    And also why doesn’t Peter Garrett get a job? He’s old enough.

  15. Infidel Tiger

    Free laptops eh? Obviously a pencil and paper was too hard?

  16. C.L.

    Wait, you’re all telling me that Gillard fucked something up?

  17. Fisky

    The challenge has been made before: if any of the Labor trolls on here would like to name one significant policy that they haven’t stuffed up, please go ahead.

  18. Gab

    Kids can’t read and write but hey, some of them have “free” laptops. How very Soviet.

  19. tbh

    This lot just can’t help themselves, they just cock up everything they do.

    Rabz is right, you only value that which you have acquired through your own effort. Where is the incentive for people to look after things that have been given to them? I thought we learned this lesson as kids.

  20. Rabz

    Wait, you’re all telling me that Gillard fucked something up?

    gillard and rudd. Yes, it’s shocking, I know.

  21. kae

    Talking about labor trolls, haven’t seen many for ages.

    Throws salt over shoulder. (Both shoulders, not sure which one applies.)

  22. Tintarella, you are so right. Garrett will always be MY boogie man

  23. kae

    Doan need t rite and spel if u got a compooter.

  24. ar

    Incompetent spending is their plan…

    What quicker way to bring about the end of western civilisation?

  25. tbh

    Talking about labor trolls, haven’t seen many for ages.

    Quite right. Wherever could they be?

  26. squawkbox

    Kids can’t read and write but hey, some of them have “free” laptops. How very Soviet.

    Gab, that’s unfair to the Soviets. They wanted politically correct citizens who could at least do useful things, like build tractors and kill capitalist-imperialists. Gillard & Co don’t want 18 year olds capable of doing anything beyond filling in welfare claim forms and voting Green/ALP.

  27. brc

    Talking about labor trolls, haven’t seen many for ages.

    Quite right. Wherever could they be?

    I would say there is a logjam in talking points central.

  28. Rabz

    Quite right. Wherever could they be?

    Who gives a rodent’s?

    Stop encouraging them!

  29. brc

    To be fair, more students got latptops than households will ever get NBNs.

    Having seen some of the laptops provided, they certainly got done over good’n'proper.

    All that needs to happen is a minimum spec laptop specified as part of high school. Any charitable cases could be dealt with on a school-by-school basis, on application by the family of their hard-luck story. Perhaps departing students could be convinced to donate their used computers to a pool for disadvantaged kids. Everyone else can get their own or use their parents hand-me-downs.

    It’s amazing how universities manage to get by with just specifying the software that has to be run and letting the students figure the rest out.

    With the price of a small netbook computer breaching the $500 mark, I fail to see how any family in Australia cannot afford a laptop for their high school kids. I would assume most kids spend more than that on tuckshop over their high school years. Not only that, but the second-hand market is awash with ex-govt and ex-corporate computers for pennies.

  30. Gab

    In 2008, letters were leaked that revealed that the Minister of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Julia Gillard was told that the policy was not thought through and severely underfunded.[13] There were concerns that the lack of funds would be compensated for by financially crippled families or some computers left in boxes, unopened. The states were noncompliant upon learning that each would have to contribute up to A$3 billion altogether, a contribution that was not mentioned by Rudd or Gillard in the election campaign.[13]

  31. .

    http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2013/01/28/3678158.htm

    NBN Metrics

    Note they conflate commencements with completions!

    They also have no chance in hell of hitting their targets for brownfields.

  32. derFRED

    The ALP couldn’t organise a fart in the bath.

  33. .

    Premises activated Dec 2012:

    34500

    Two and half years and billions of dollars.

    Uptake: 20% in brownfields and 25% in greenfields.

  34. .

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/nbns-commercial-viability-is-a-joke/story-e6frgd0x-1226506971773

    Most tellingly, the revised corporate plan released in August confirms the original plan was way off the mark. The latter underestimated the size of the fibre network by 14 per cent – about 25,000km

    Right. The cost of cabling and underground construction falls when you need more done very, very quickly.

    What a fucking joke.

  35. derFRED

    Bob Ellis is canvassing suggestion for casting of his already legendary treatment for the Rudd/Gillard miniseries.

    Here

  36. Fisky

    Hey dot – I’ve been meaning to ask if you have an update on the NBN. Any progress on cost/completion you know of?

  37. Popular Front

    So now after yet another ALP rabble screwup, parents are being told to stump up the money for a kid’s laptop. I wonder what part of ‘get stuffed’ the ALP rabble AND the Teacher’s Federation don’t grasp?

  38. Gab

    Or in the case of taxpayers, having already paid for the laptops, parents are being asked to pay for them again.

  39. .

    Hey dot – I’ve been meaning to ask if you have an update on the NBN. Any progress on cost/completion you know of?

    I would have to re-estimate.

    I did have a realistic estimate and it was very high, however, I got to the stage of baiting people with guesses up to 20% of one year’s GDP.

    I’m guessing 150 bn plus, and that’s semi educated.

  40. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    I am looking distressed over all of this ‘Lizzie’ stuff and HIA comes over, so I quickly change to this thread from the OT before he bans me from blogging forever.

    He sees the heading: incompetence, extravagance and an inability to properly plan.

    I don’t expect dey are referring to your lastest efforts in the kitchen, he says kindly, putting his arm around me.

    Sometimes he can be a worse control freak than Christian Grey.

  41. .

    So now after yet another ALP rabble screwup, parents are being told to stump up the money for a kid’s laptop. I wonder what part of ‘get stuffed’ the ALP rabble AND the Teacher’s Federation don’t grasp?

    Schoolkid’s bonus!

  42. Fisky

    I’m guessing 150 bn plus, and that’s semi educated.

    The question is, will it ever be completed?

  43. Mk50 of Brisbane

    One (just one) of my kids saw one of these laptops. The school did not want them, but got told ‘gubbamunt sez’.

    The thing was carefully examined by the others, who informed the luckless progeny who was given the POS that it was seriously inferior to the laptop said progeny already had.

    Progeny was disappointed, as the laptop already in possession was a second-hand one bought from a local bloke in Waramanga who bought pallets of them at auction for a song, rebuilt them and flogged them specifically for students.

    In fact I still have one I got from him for $250 (which included an additional HDD rigged as an external backup).

    I talked to him about the government one and he just laughed. His kid had one, and he said it was a total POS worth a quarter of what they had paid for it, wholesale COB on the dock in Shanghai.

    The suppliers saw the mug punter from the government coming a mile off, and skinned them.

  44. Keith

    I seem to recall that the laptops for kids program overran the initial budget, and then got topped up once more. Maybe all the spongers I mean players think that if they bleat loud enough, the trough will get another refill.
    Remember that all the “stake holders” including unions, parents groups, unions, principals groups, unions, state governments and unions got a say in this last time. Can’t think where the money went though.

  45. Fisky

    Homer, badm0f0, m0nty and JM the Hamas supporter were all big fans of the NBN. They loved it. In fact, I’d wager they thought we were paying too little for the network, and should find a way of inflating the price another $50 billion.

    Homer was also very excited about the “free” (meaning they cost four times the market price) laptops from memory.

  46. davey street

    What is so jaw dropping is they seriously think all this can be fixed by dumping Gillard and putting Rudd back anytime between now and the day before the election. “A vote for Rudd will be a vote for Gillard again after the poll just like last time” will scream the coalition TV/radio/press ads.

  47. 81Alpha

    The suppliers saw the mug punter from the government coming a mile off, and skinned them.

    Ma Duce, quite possibly the Liars Pardy got a nice kickback thus the high cost per ‘puter.
    They don’t do anything without their cut these villains.

  48. Fisky

    If they put Rudd back in, about eight cabinet ministers will be forced to resign immediately. Remember, Wayne Swan denounced Rudd as an anti-Labor stooge, and that was one of the nicer things they said during the last leadership spill.

  49. Tiny Dancer

    Ad Bob Carr’s scriptwriter opines “Tony Abbott self-immolated by his proud refusal to keep funding schoolkids

    The left have no idea.

  50. Zatara

    Let me see, hand a kid a “free” laptop that the govt is responsible to maintain. What a great idea. I mean what could possibly happen?

    I knew kids that couldn’t keep a damned near indestructible hardback maths text intact for a year and I know they never opened the thing.

    So better plan to replace the laptops annually. At taxpayer expense of course.

  51. H B Bear

    The only member of the Labor party who could actually organise a root in a brothel was thrown out.

  52. Rabz

    … quite possibly the Liars Pardy got a nice kickback thus the high cost per ‘puter.

    This.

    Why else would the mug taxpayer be getting slugged $2,500 for a $400 laptop???

  53. H B Bear

    KRuddy holding up that crappy 486 laptop to announce some half-arsed, billion dollar program of “free” shit captured his lamentable government perfectly.

  54. Free Advice

    Dreyfuss the Hypocrite.
    What a bad start to his ministerial career.
    My part in her Downfall.
    End Days indeed!

  55. Quite so Rabz. Would like to see AbbottAbbottAbbottt run some feral accountants through that program and find where the money went.

  56. .

    The question is, will it ever be completed?

    Of course not.

    Imagine being 22 days into a house build and the footing excavations are only just done.

    35000/9.1 million private households…commenced or completed.

    Remember too they are counting commencements with completions in that number of 35000.

    So at a maximum, they’ve connected less than 40% of 1% of Australians to the NBN (0.00385%).

    Over 2.5 years.

  57. Honesty

    Spot on H B Bear! Krudd “look at me” stunts that cost billions. How did they ever sell “I’m a fiscal conservative”. That’s a bigger lie and a much more damaging lie than TLS’s “there will be no carbon tax”. The ALP have a minuscule fig leaf “the GFC” to waste $100′s billions and guess what the average voter believes it and can’t get their head around what has happened.

  58. entropy

    One of the biggest problems (from a practicality point of view, leaving aside the poor policy surrounding it) is that most of these laptops turned out to be actually crappy netbooks, the biggest con inflicted on the IT world since clippy and microsoft bob.

    Netbooks’ all round craptapularness in build quality and usability is the reason OEMs are starting to no longer make them anymore (well two reasons if you count people prefer iPads to netbooks).

    Acer and Asus both recently announced they weren’t going to make them anymore, and Apple of course always said they wouldn’t make one as they believed they were too cramped and built poorly to a price.

  59. .

    Why didn’t they just order a shittonne of chromebooks at at a 10% (no GST) discount plus a volume discount that a wholesaler would get?

  60. entropy

    because chromebooks are a device for google to extract even more information about you, and just as crippled, but in a different way to netbooks?

  61. Pingback: Government purchasing at Catallaxy Files

  62. .

    Wow, if you hate google…do you have a FB account?

    Surely they’d be better though? My point is off the shelf is generally best for Government and corporate muppets who are end users not specialising to make something in the same industry.

    I expect they’d be cheaper too.

  63. Crossie

    I’m guessing 150 bn plus, and that’s semi educated.

    The question is, will it ever be completed?

    We should be so lucky. Tony Abbott should put a stop to it as soon as he gets in, no sense in throwing good money after bad.

  64. Crossie

    Remember that all the “stake holders” including unions, parents groups, unions, principals groups, unions, state governments and unions got a say in this last time.

    The only stakeholders not consulted were the taxpayers.

  65. Popular Front

    A ‘stakeholder’ is a bloke at a barbie, with a stubby in one hand and a t-bone in the other, waiting for space on the grilltop.

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