It’s absolutely and completely true, Tony

This is special, found at Andrew Bolt. Government spending is always related to some social good which often seems to make it beyond criticism, and certainly there are vast numbers who will not listen. But the NBN is almost unto itself in its vast oceans of waste. Here is the Minister for Communications discussing said NBN with Tony Jones.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: No. Look, this – the NBN is not a commercial project. It is the most – the single most expensive, irrational project of the Labor government. It should never have been undertaken in the way it is. It is completely non-commercial.

TONY JONES: “So let’s keep it going,” says Malcolm Turnbull.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: No, no – well the problem that we’ve got – the problem that we’ve got is is that if we were to pull the pin on it completely, we would lose at least – we’d write off at least $15 billion, probably more and have nothing to show for it. So, Labor has left us with a shocking mess. The best thing we can do is to complete the project as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

TONY JONES: Alright. If you can …

MALCOLM TURNBULL: And that’s the – and that is the – you know, now, can I just say this to you?: the way Labor went about the NBN was unique in the world. No other country did anything as mad as this. And …

TONY JONES: Yes, but we have heard this argument before (inaudible) …

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Yeah, but you don’t care about it because it’s the taxpayers’ money. – that’s the thing.

TONY JONES: That’s not at all true.

Ah, Tony, I’m afraid that it is entirely true and it takes a special ability to be unable to see this expenditure for what it is.

This entry was posted in Federal Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to It’s absolutely and completely true, Tony

  1. Andrew

    I assume if it’s non-commercial then the whole colossal shitfight is coming back on the balance sheet this Budget? All $50bn+ of the debacle?

  2. Riverina Matt

    I assume if it’s non-commercial then the whole colossal shitfight is coming back on the balance sheet this Budget? All $50bn+ of the debacle?

    A very good point. I think it should – a good budget starts with being honest about your situation. That money has been spent and very little of it is coming back …

  3. Notafan

    I know quite a few flathead lefties who thought the NBN would be fast and free

  4. Baldrick

    The NBN is a Labor financial fiasco. Add it to the list of others:
    - Unfunded NDIS
    - Unfunded PNG solution
    - Unfunded Gonski reforms
    - Defunct School laptops program
    - Over-priced Education Revolution/School Halls
    - Pink Batts debacle
    - Cash for Clunkers
    - Grocery & Petrol Watch
    - Carbon Dioxide Tax
    - Indonesia Live Cattle Trade balls-up
    - Welfare handouts
    - Renewable Energy Fund
    - MRR Tax

    My brain hurts.

  5. dalai lama

    The way the whole NBN fiasco is shaping up, it will be the Liberals who will end up being blamed for the inevitable massive losses. Where it should be Conroy and Rudd being tarred and feathered, they will end up being held up as the visionary heros.

    Nowhere can this be seen better than on the specialist IT forums (in particular Delimiter). Those are overflowing with people whingeing about Turnbull and the fact that the current government is not going to just continue on with the ‘Labor dream’. The voices of reason are very few and far between.

    I think that is the true tragedy of our times that:

    1) So many people cannot quite work out that you can’t always have everything you want
    2) They don’t understand that they will be paying for it for decades via higher taxes
    3) They have never been told that government projects (and especially those where they are picking future technological winners) *never* work [out] as advertised

    Truly, those who do not learn from the past are bound to repeat it.

  6. - Fair Work Commission
    – Abolished ABCC
    – Commodore Kafer persecution
    (for starters)

  7. Rabz

    No other country did anything as mad as this.

    The labor pardee – world class squandermonkey dunderheads.

    FFS, may we never see their like again in our lifetimes.

  8. Tom

    MALCOLM TURNBULL: Yeah, but you don’t care about it because it’s the taxpayers’ money. – that’s the thing.

    Here’s the thing: Lord Wentworth is quite bright. He just has an infectious disease from too many late night swims with the millionaire socialist poo-jabbers around Tamarama and Bronte.

  9. Rabz

    He just has an infectious disease from too many late night swims with the millionaire socialist poo-jabbers around Tamarama and Bronte.

    Now, now Tom. An observation such as that could earn you a stinging rebuke from Lord Yobo of Siam.

  10. H B Bear

    Not true Steve.

    Snowcone ($355,789) has a long held and deeply personal interest in how taxpayers money is spent.

  11. Ant

    TONY JONES: Yes, but we have heard this argument before (inaudible) …

    What a complete arseclown.

    That spending 10′s of billions on fixed line broadband in an area of technology that changes so rapidly is mad is merely an “argument”.

    But anything to protect his Labor Party.

    Have a drink to that one, too, Tony, just like you did when the useless Maxine McKew won Bennelong.

  12. Squirrel

    “Notafan

    #1261316, posted on April 11, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    I know quite a few flathead lefties who thought the NBN would be fast and free”

    Yes, it’s a classic example of cargo cult politics, and the true believers just don’t want to know about the cost – they will always fall back (as did TJ in last night’s encounter with Turnbull) on the argument that it will/may have all sorts of uses which have not yet been dreamt up. To these people, the tens of billions to pay for it is someone else’s problem.

  13. Gab

    I know quite a few flathead lefties who thought the NBN would be fast and free”

    And they still do today.

  14. nic

    Judging by that transcript I could have sworn that Snowcone was a Labor minister who was defending his party’s work.

  15. john constantine

    the nbn may well have uses yet to be thought of.

    those with functioning brains could suggest that 50 billion of resources in the hands of people that can think of the future would produce outcomes that dwarf the public service constrained obscenity of the nbn.

    every cent of finance,every moment of effort forced into the grossness of the nbn has been stolen from productive use. the abc groupthink cannot process this concept.

    let us free the finance and free the effort that is wasted on public broadcasting. let us free the leftie media from government constraints,and allow them to follow their hearts,and editorialise socialism pure and unsullied.

  16. I did like the quip about Wyatt Roy’s second term as Liberal PM…

    I’ve always said the NBN – the privatisation of the NBN may well be a key priority of Wyatt Roy’s second term as Prime Minister – Wyatt being 22. But Wyatt could, I think, become Prime Minister sooner than the NBN’ll be fit for privatisation.

  17. Leigh Lowe

    Judging by that transcript I could have sworn that Snowcone was a Labor minister who was defending his party’s work.

    I have been pleasantly surprised that Malcolm has got some starch in his shirt of late (perhaps he got my parcel containing 24 vertebrae and home assembly instructions).
    It tells me that he is getting some ginger from party room colleagues and he knows that defending the ABC is a lost cause.
    FewFacts and the ABC showed a breathtaking lack of curiosity when the Slapper advanced her business case for each latest folly ….. “It’s the Roight Thing to do”

  18. Andrew

    - Defunct School laptops program

    According to Leif Garrett, it came in on time and under budget. On the basis that the latest budget had them coming in 3 years late and at triple the cost in the election costings, and they came in better than that. On that basis, the NBN is going well (having downgraded the estimated connections by 90%) and Abbott666 is just going to fuck it up.

  19. Andrew

    - Unfunded PNG solution

    to their own self-inflicted catastrophe. We’ve got so used to the 50,000 boatee disaster that it’s easy to concentrate on the minutiae of Krudd’s half-arsed PNG solution and forget why we needed a solution in the first place.

  20. Mr Rusty

    Argument #237 for impaling fuckwitted leftard who thinks the NBN will usher in the age of Star Trek;

    “Theoretically the transition from dial up at 56k to today’s ADSL2+ at 20MBPS represents a 400 fold increase in speed. From ADSL2+ (20MBPS) to NBN (100MBPS) represents a 4 fold increase. With relevance to all the successful applications like Facebook and Twitter that have sprung up in the past decade please enlighten us as to the new applications that will bedazzle us all as a result of the NBN and this 4 fold increase.”

    Argument #237 Supplementary A;

    “Discuss with reference to how posting photos of dogs wearing hats, plates of food and clicking on ‘Like’ will stimulate the economy.”

    Argument #237 Supplementary B;

    “What lessons have been learnt from the dot com bubble and tech crash?”

  21. john of dandenong

    Ah yes, Commodore Kafer. 36 years service to this country mainly as a hydrographer, the unsung navy personnel who spend months on end at sea gathering data, often by the old fashioned method, by hand, that is eventually converted into the “Melways” of Australia’s water ways.

    All this brought to a sudden end by an impulsive, unproductive, indecisive, lawyer-cum ALP spiv (tautology?), who, when the chips were down didn’t even have the fortitude to contest the last election. Is he any relation of Carr, Obied, McDonald?

  22. blogstrop

    “So let’s keep it going” – Jones verbals Turnbull in a typically sleazy attempt to change the narrative.
    He has no scruples, but that’s the culture at their ABC.

  23. Dan

    LOL at the poster who suggests that ADSL2+ is 20Mbs standard. I have ADSL2+ and it is 7Mbs at the very best. And it also slows down heavily when it rains due to shitty copper wires. If the average internet speed in Australia was 20Mbs, there would be less need for a nation wide internet upgrade.

    But Australia’s average internet speed is around 5Mbs. Seeing as the original NBN fibre network had a theoretical speed up to 1GBPS (1000Mbs) that’s well…you do the math.

  24. Crossie

    every cent of finance,every moment of effort forced into the grossness of the nbn has been stolen from productive use. the abc groupthink cannot process this concept.

    let us free the finance and free the effort that is wasted on public broadcasting. let us free the leftie media from government constraints,and allow them to follow their hearts,and editorialise socialism pure and unsullied.

    It is my fondest wish that the government present the ABC with the following options: keep your funding and scrap the NBN or continue developing the NBN and privatise the ABC. Cannot have both, the country cannot afford it. What’s even better, let public opinion decide the outcome. Let the recriminations begin.

  25. Splatacrobat

    I’ve downloaded the transcript and fine tuned the audio amplifying the inaudible parts:

    MALCOLM TURNBULL: No. Look, this – the NBN is not a commercial project. It is the most – the single most expensive, irrational project of the Labor government. It should never have been undertaken in the way it is. It is completely non-commercial…..(inaudible)…….What part of Labor fucked up don’t you understand Jerry?

    TONY JONES: “So let’s keep it going,” says Malcolm Turnbull……..(inaudible)…….. It’ not like its pink batts and people’s lives are at stake. There’s plenty of money to fund this.

    MALCOLM TURNBULL: No, no – well the problem that we’ve got – the problem that we’ve got is is that if we were to pull the pin on it completely, we would lose at least – we’d write off at least $15 billion, probably more and have nothing to show for it. So, Labor has left us with a shocking mess. The best thing we can do is to complete the project as quickly and cost effectively as possible………(inaudible) Labor couldn’t drive a greasy stick up a dog’s arse. And this NBN is a dog’s arse Jerry, really it is.

    TONY JONES: Alright. If you can …(inaudible) just agree with Mark Scott that the ABC is not biased and I’ll move onto my next gotcha question.

    MALCOLM TURNBULL: And that’s the – and that is the – you know, now, can I just say this to you?: the way Labor went about the NBN was unique in the world. No other country did anything as mad as this. And ……(inaudible) Jerry may I add no other population would have put up with the rabble of spiv merchants, and brain dead morons that this country has had to endue.

    TONY JONES: Yes, but we have heard this argument before (inaudible) and as Mark Scott says you can’t cover your failing by blaming the ABC with bias.

    MALCOLM TURNBULL: Yeah, but you don’t care about it because it’s the taxpayers’ money. – that’s the thing….. (inaudible) Jerry you think there is an endless pit of money and rich people are the only ones who should be tipping in the cash so the hoi polloi can surf porn all day.

    TONY JONES: That’s not at all true. (inaudible) I only get to surf porn once I have reached Mark’s bias targets.

  26. Crossie

    Jerry may I add no other population would have put up with the rabble of spiv merchants, and brain dead morons that this country has had to endue.

    The American population voted in the spivs for the second time and now have to watch as the Attorney General taunts the Congress. I would say that Australian electorate is much more astute, after all the 2010 election could have gone either way if everyone voted just once.

  27. Old School Conservative

    In late breaking news the Australian Human Rights Commission has labelled the NBN a “non-negotiable human right”.

  28. The NBN is the Left’s best hope for universal free (compulsory??) internet with centrally imposed filters and surveillance capability hard-wired into the system. IMO this is why they’re defending it to the hilt.

  29. Vasily

    Do you know that Russian is the second most used language on internet and that Russian users of internet outnumber Germans? Yet you regard us as backward country! We know this is crucial to our future prosperity and democracy. Please explain to me what is problem with national broadband network for Australia? It is good idea to me. You cannot afford it? But can you afford not to have it? It is like saying Australia in 19th century cannot afford trans-oceanic telephonic cables or even more basic national railway network. You must factor in advantages to productivity in future to estimate value. I will not debate public vs private investment – do whichever is most efficient, but if you can’t raise private capital public investment is surely required. But one way or another Australia must be connected to the rest of the world at the greatest speed to overcome your fated “tyranny of distance” yes? As Americans say colorfully this is a “no brainer”.

  30. Tel

    I will not debate public vs private investment – do whichever is most efficient, but if you can’t raise private capital public investment is surely required.

    This translates to saying if investors don’t want to pay for building something, we should gang up and force them to pay so we build it anyway.

    I’m not sure why you think this is a good idea?

  31. Splatacrobat

    Vasily, Russia has a population of 143 million. Australia is only 23 million. If Putin announced a Russian NBN was going to be built at a cost of 400 billion dollars would you be dancing Cossack style in the street?
    You already went broke once trying to win an arms race. We don’t want to go the same way just so numpties can download and watch 15 hours of Wagner’s ring cycle to improve their cultural awareness of the world.

  32. JohnA

    But Vasily, you seem to have forgotten that this NBN is a domestic only network.

    If we want fast connections to the rest of the world, we need more international capacity – undersea cables and satellite circuits.

    The original Coalition plan in 2007 was to spend about 5Billion on upgrading the Australian trunk backbone network in parallel with existing plans for more cables being laid to Singapore and Guam IIRC, and the third Optus satellite.

  33. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Facebook and some other net stocks seriously overvalued, trouble ahead.

    The NBN has a great future in another dot.com bust? To say nothing of the major shift to mobile. Labor listened to some very big snouts in a networking trough to come up with something as silly as the NBN. Not a hint of a real cost benefit analysis. No input from Devil’s Advocates. Malcolm must now show us his mettle by creating something even vaguely useful out of it all.

    Just another Labor Cargo Cult – as mentioned above.

    I know quite a few flathead lefties who thought the NBN would be fast and free”

    And they still do today.

  34. wal1957

    “I will not debate public vs private investment – do whichever is most efficient, but if you can’t raise private capital public investment is surely required. ”

    Private companies will not invest because, quite simply, they won’t make money on their investment.
    As for the money coming out of the public purse….FFS… Liebor emptied the purse and maxed out all the credit cards…. Just how much more money should we spend to get this “FREE” NBN?

    Note, I use the word “FREE” as I have been informed by quite a few Lieboritidiots that it is being built at no cost to them, so, absolutely “FREE”… FFS

  35. john constantine

    the tories had broadband for the bush ready to go in 2007.

    rural australia is a decade behind because the lefties decided that the open tender system would be dishonoured,and the back of the envelope on an airplane disaster would give more opportunity for cronyism among the leftie mates.

  36. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Yet you regard us as backward country!

    No, Vasily. A lot of us here think there is much to admire in present-day Russia; an independence of spirit and a respect for traditional values in life. And no country is perfect. Sure, we want to overcome any ‘tyranny of distance’ in our country, but we do that in many ways already and can do it better if we don’t blow all our cash on pipe dreams like the NBN rather than on a realistic network system. We have a good life here in a fine land and make welcome many people from elsewhere through our immigration and refugee programs. Visitors are most welcome too, so come on down sometime. Our land areas are vast and you will see something of the problem if you take that into consideration. The Coalition focus on improving our international cabling was a good one.

  37. Tintarella di Luna

    A lot of us here think there is much to admire in present-day Russia;

    I particularly like Valdimir’s pectorals especially on a man of his age, 61 and still riding bareback – to someone of advancing years and failing eyesight, there is at least that much I can admire in present-day Russia

  38. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    John C – thump that shift key harder to get a capital letter at the start of each sentence, and the space bar after commas, coz I am enjoying your contributions now they are becoming more readable.

    Good to see you’ve found paragraphs at last. ;)

  39. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Tinta, Da Hairy Ape has a smattering of the Russian language and tells me that the name ‘Vladimir’ is not as I pronounce it – Vlad-dim-mir, with equal syllabic emphasis. It is actually said, with sultry eyes to accompany, as Vlah-deem-mir, with the emphasis on the long second syllable, the first one being short and upward in emphasis.

    John Cleese was not wrong in ‘A Fish Called Wanda’; the language is like a tongue-kiss, filled with longing. As, of course, is Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique” symphony, which always makes me want to cry, as there the longing is for life itself. He wrote it when he was dying.

    Oh dear. I strayed a bit away from the NBN. Mea culpa.

  40. johanna

    The further away from the NBN you get, the better, Lizzie. Just keep your hand firmly gripping your purse as you back away!

  41. .

    Vasily
    #1261803, posted on April 11, 2014 at 11:49 pm
    Do you know that Russian is the second most used language on internet and that Russian users of internet outnumber Germans?

    1. Bullshit.
    2. Well duh.

  42. old bloke

    “I will not debate public vs private investment – do whichever is most efficient, but if you can’t raise private capital public investment is surely required. ”

    A trial fibre NBN was conducted by Telstra when John Howard was PM. Ziggy Switkowski, then head of Telstra, installed fibre cables in target locations in S.E. Queensland and northern Tasmania (to please Senator Harradine). The trial revealed that public take-up was minimal, and that the capital outlay would not be recovered.

    I heard Ziggy’s technical adviser speak of this failure once, I can’t remember his name, but he is the chap whose claim to fame was the invention of the Internet Refrigerator – what an outstanding success story that was. He was puzzled by the public apathy of this new, you-beaut network to attract paying customers so he went to Tasmania to investigate.

    He recalled walking down the main street of Launceston or Devenport and asking local businesses why they didn’t enthusiastically sign up for this new high bandwidth Internet network. The folly of this project didn’t dawn on him till he went into a fish and chip shop to speak with the owner who told him “Mate, I run a fish and chip shop, what use to me is high speed Internet access”.

    This is why neither Telstra nor any other telco will ever install a fibre network to Mum & Dad at home, the capital costs will never be recouped.

  43. Tel

    Just keep your hand firmly gripping your purse as you back away!

    Ha, ha, like that’s going to work.

    They have already signed you up for the debt before you even looked down to check your purse.

  44. Mr Rusty

    Well, that ABC bastion of supreme intelligence has nailed it. According to Alberscreechy (@ 8.50) people with telecoms experience cannot possibly know what is good for the future because their dinosaur-esque industry knowledge and experience could not possibly comprehend the future.

    I really can’t understand why Labor didn’t just line up all senior telecoms execs and shoot them (somewhere in the back of the head, as is the Labor way) when the NBN was launched. That way we would all have our perfect super-mega-awesome-speedy NBN built on time, in budget and with absolutely no criticism whatsoever.

    The left just don’t ask themselves “What would Uncle Jo do?” anymore.

  45. Does anyone publish Australias financial statements according to the same set of rules that companies have to do? I just don’t get how a substantial amount of money (NBN) can be made to not exist.

  46. Andrew

    Thanks Mr Rusty. That’s brilliant – only visionaries like Conjob can see the future, as relevant experience rules out anyone. Experience is by definition past tense.

    By the same logic, the ABC should fire anyone with meeja experience and we should stop listening to “climate scientists” as their backward looking models were calibrated during the warm 20th C and so irrelevant to the cooling environment of the 21st.

  47. Tel

    Does anyone publish Australias financial statements according to the same set of rules that companies have to do? I just don’t get how a substantial amount of money (NBN) can be made to not exist.

    Companies have abandoned mark to market accounting, just like governments have. The trick is easy to pull, here’s an outline:

    * Allocate money to a project, for argument’s sake $40 billion dollars.
    * Keep telling people the project will make a return, call it 7%.
    * Go ahead and spend money… wages, rent, materials… build something that looks a bit like a business.
    * Get some “customers”… keep spending money.
    * Point to your valuable business creation, here comes the trick.

    How do we decide what this is worth? Must have lots of valuable Intellectual Property right? Goodwill, trademarks, network diagrams, business methods, ohhhhh very very valuable stuff… but exactly how valuable? Well, we spent $40 billion making it, so it must be worth $40 billion because that’s what it cost to make.

    That’s it! Put $40 billion in the Expenses column, and put $40 billion down as Assets. Nett zero… the project does not exist (financially speaking), and neither does the $40 billion dollars any more.

    http://accounting.smartpros.com/x71398.xml

  48. Thanks Tel, that I understand. But why not double the pension using the same trick? After all, if the money has gone, so has the debt.

  49. stackja

    MALCOLM TURNBULL: Yeah, but you don’t care about it because it’s the taxpayers’ money. – that’s the thing.
    TONY JONES: That’s not at all true.
    Ah, Tony, I’m afraid that it is entirely true and it takes a special ability to be unable to see this expenditure for what it is.

    TJ wasting taxpayers’ money.

  50. Tel

    But why not double the pension using the same trick? After all, if the money has gone, so has the debt.

    It requires the creation of a paper asset to hold the nominal value. In the longer term it also requires the use of something else, I’ll use the technical term here, “Numpty”, being someone dumb enough to take that shitty asset off your hands. Very difficult to build one of these paper assets out of pensioners, but it does sound a lot like “selling your grandma” so there won’t be any resistance to it on moral grounds.

  51. mundi

    The NBN is amazing because it has brough out the shocking behaviour of people when some small government interest is right up their ally.

    Have a look at whirlpool where it was once generally more LNP supported white collar IT workers. They have behaved like rapid dogs over the new government ands its ‘fraudband’, with many of them deciding to vote labor purely because of what Abbott / Hockey might do to the NBN.

    Time and time again, I have pointed out how all their arguments were pointless because they never ever used a dollar value. To them the NBN could be $4.7b $47b or $470b or $4.7t. It doesn’t matter. Cost never came into it. All they know is 1GBPS fiber for $60/month GIMME GIMME GIMME.

  52. johanna

    Interesting point about Whirlpool, mundi. It used to have its fair share of free marketeers, conservatives, even anarchists – although they all hated Telstra. There were some decent discussions about different ways of improving technnology and service.

    Now, as you say, it’s mostly about getting “free” stuff, courtesy of the taxpayer. Plus a lot of crap about the need for more regulation.

    Looks like it’s been colonised by the Pod People too.

  53. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    rabz:

    He just has an infectious disease from too many late night swims with the millionaire socialist poo-jabbers around Tamarama and Bronte.

    Now, now Tom. An observation such as that could earn you a stinging rebuke from Lord Yobo of Siam.

    Yobo – definition is ‘a cruel and brutal fellow’.

    perhaps not – he’s passing strange, though. Holed up in Thailand boasting about how cheap the beer is ( Ah, Thailand – land of the Ladyboy, pederast central, child prostitute ‘heaven’ and slobbering white pedo magnet of Asia) and duelling with CL every time CL notes how the homosexual activist collective is buggering this country up.

    Yup, passing strange.

  54. This was an absolute cracking moment, exposing how the Left plays on the “we care” myth while constantly demonising conservative thinkers and politicians as uncaring. Pull away the “we care” veil with facts and you expose a fundamental insecurity so typical of these herd animals and, consequently, why the ABC is so desperate to avoid intelligent and well researched conservative commentators unless they are overwhelmingly outnumbered, shouted down and mocked by their typically stacked panels and audiences of Socialist apologists. I think Turnbull, who has found his teeth finally after being the Left’s favourite Liberal Party pet for so long, might find it a lot more difficult having a one on one with Jones or anybody on the ABC in future.

Comments are closed.