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Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Roaster, Aug 18, 2010.
In an election full of spin, it is good to see some outsiders getting involved.
Essentially, I agree. The cash handouts helped. I'm not convinced about the school thing. That was just a money sink and the problem was over before the money got spent anyway.
I don't think this 50 billion fibre network is either wise or necessary.
the school thing was never about school halls.
it was about injecting cash into the economy and stimulating jobs in sectors which were suffering from downturn in private investment.
The fact that schools now have a workable productive asset was a bonus, but it is often forgotten that the aim was stimulus. Even if $11million were wasted, out of a $16bn program that is a remarkably high level of efficiency.
The problem with the labor party is not that they ****ed the BER (because they really didn't) and not that they are poor economic managers (because they really aren't), it is because they are not communicating their successes loud enough, particularly in the face of a very vocal (but mis-informed) opposition.
What's overlooked is that less than 3% of BER projects had complaints and the inquiry found the project was a whole 6% over budget - and a disproportionate number of those with problems were the ones administered by NSW.
(enough said )
Some of the complaints were reasonable and generally they were because of poor oversight by either the school or the State Department of Education (who the funds were channelled through). Some complaints were also politically motivated (or in at least one case, sour grapes because someone else got the contract).
One reason for cost blowouts was that the sheer number of projects and the short time frame meant that there was a shortage of suitable builders which pushed costs up.
Yeah the obsession with this I just don't get. Internet speed is not that bad at the moment. Sure it'd be nice if it were faster, but a national rail network or a few solar thermal plants would be much, much higher on my list.
Not to mention a proper review and improvement of our health services.
Yes, but the spending was wasteful in nature - ie. they could have serviced ten schools with the money they would give one. Also, generally it took to long to take effect, the crisis moment was past well before schools started building. Sure it does keep money moving while economies are slowly unsteadily rising, but then that brings me back to the first point.
+100 It would be great if my girlfriend didnt have to go to norway or germany or china to get a job.
Speeds are great if you're just bringing thing down. The limitations are lore obvious when you try and push files back out to the world.
Think pbotographers trying to upload they're weeks printing orders, analysts trying to share large sets of data between sites etc.
When I'm working from home, I can bring a 100mb report down in a few minutes. Unfortunately to put that same set of data back on the network takes a ludicrous amount of time. If the NBN does nothing else but solve our upstream woes in this country, it will make the Internet infinitely more productive from a business point of view
Ermmm....Actually, by world standards, Internet speeds in Australia are appalling, particularly once you're out of the cities. I live in an area that could properly be called outer suburban and my (ridiculously expensive) "broadband" isn't much quicker than dial-up should be.
Sure, I'd like to see increases in freight rail capacity and efficiency, more effort put into renewable energy, better health services etc. Regardless of this, though, the NBN is long overdue and has enough potential to make significant differences in energy use and provision of health and education services that I'm more than happy with it as the flagship infrastructure project of this generation.
That the whole issue shows up the Opposition as a bunch of parochial, technologically illiterate troglodytes is merely a bonus .
By world standards, yes. But do we need it, at the expense of however many billion? No.
Agree, but how? The problem with health is that we cannot lure the personnel and investors into health without agreeing to do it on their terms. People simply won't become doctors unless it is highly profitable, and allows them to dictate the terms of their own career.
Likewise with investment in medical advances. It doesn't happen unless it's going to be profitable.
It's a problem for both major parties. Dictating the terms of health delivery is no longer within their power.
(Disclaimer: I am a lower order beneficiary of this state of affairs.)
Again, the outcome of the stimulus package was not school halls - it was economic stimulus. The downturn didn't start to hit us until late 2008 - early 2009. It was about that time that the company I work for (engineering services) did it's first round of redundancies due to a lack of backlog work. It was also this time that the first sods of earth were turned on the BER projects. I'd say the timing was fairly spot on.
As far as the waste goes, there are a few documented cases where waste has occurred, and the numbers are alarming when read out of context with the whole budget for the scheme. But really the waste is small (tiny) cookies compared to the $16bn budget.
ps sorry to hear your girlfriend is leaving - thought of heading with her? Germany and china are 2 of my fav countries (seriously)
I was reading an article which mentioned the introduction of electricity. I had a look back through the national Library's newspaper archive and found exactly the same arguments against implementing an electric tramway in Melbourne then as are being used against the NBN.
One letter I found considered that there was no need for an electric tram to Essendon - a combination of steam trains and cabs (horse-drawn) would be just as effective.
Abbott's plan is basically using a bit of sticky tape and string to keep it going for a few years and at the end of that time it will still need to be replaced.
Next time you are traveling down Sydney Road stuck behind a tram, you can declaim them for not having the forsight to make it a monorail. :wink:
BTW, where is my bribe? I'm sitting in a potentially marginal seat and nobody's offered me a bribe yet!:evil:
in 1850 we didn't need transcontinental telegraph lines. In 1900 we didn't need a transcontinental railway line. In the 1930s we didn't need a transcontinental road. In 1945 we didn't need the Snowy project. In 1960 we didn't need ports capable of handling 300,000 tonne bulk carriers. In 1965 we didn't need airports capable of handling 747s. Not to mention the pretty much universal electricity and water distribution systems and deep sewerage that much of the Australian population managed perfectly well without until well into living memory.
Hugely expensive, mostly publically funded and all making a significant contribution to Australia being a prosperous, modern, OECD country and not either a wart on Britannia's colonial arse or some banana republic client state of Russia or the US. Well, not quite, anyway .
If we don't build the NBN now, then when? It's not likely to become significantly cheaper or easier.
sorry, let me clarify. It's not needed now. When will it happen? Probably next time or time after next that Labor get in government.
Sorry guys I still don't buy the comparison of a NBN with major infrastructure implementation of the past.
The comparison is not like saying we need a road across the country. It's more like saying we need a 4-lane hwy across the country since we already have a road.
A 4 way highway eases congestion as it is there ready and waiting at a fraction of the cost should it have been built in the future when it was way overdue.
Future planning is what has been sadly lacking in this country and now that Australia is playing catchup with New Zealand when it comes to broadband then I'm all for it.
Take the Monash freeway disaster, it it were planned properly then we would not have to keep adding bits to it.
About time this country showed some backbone and futureproofed ourselves, we need more projects like this one where we futureproof this nation and make sure we are ready.
Keating was right we are the arse end of the world as we have a parliament full of arseholes with no future forethought.
But suppose that it was plausibly predictable that there would be an exponential growth in traffic such that, not only will the existing 2 laner be overwhelmed, but so would a 4 laner in a few years and a 6 laner not so long beyond that. Would it not then be reasonable to build a road of, effectively, unlimited capacity in anticipation of that traffic.
I'm sorry, but, if we're going to be serious about broadband, let's do it properly. Any other approach on offer just smacks of the sort of penny-pinching, short sighted, ineffective and, ultimately, wasteful half-arsery that seems, regrettably, to be widespread in Australia.
Or we could do nothing and put up with a communications network that will soon be overtaken, not just by the OECD but by significant portions of the developing world.
Then I would be weighing up the importance of the speed of traffic on that road against the importance of other projects and the money I had available. I'd still personally be coming to the same conclusion.
Maybe that is what the internet filter is about. Stop people using the interweb to free up bandwidth.