Author Archives: Laurie Patton

Laurie Patton

About Laurie Patton

Laurie Patton is a prominent public interest advocacy and marketing/communications practitioner. He is a former political advisor, journalist and media executive.

NBN update. Let’s not compound a history of poor policymaking by people who claim to be good economic managers.

In years to come Malcolm Turnbull will be remembered as the communications minister who, under instruction from then prime minister Tony Abbott, ‘demolished’ Labor’s 21st Century National Broadband Network. But another prominent politician had earlier inflicted enduring damage to any … Continue reading

Posted in NBN, Politics | 7 Comments

Data Retention – An act of blindness

A Parliamentary Joint Committee on Security and Intelligence (PJCIS) report into the Data Retention Act has made 22 recommendations that, if accepted, would lead to increased transparency, raise the threshold for when data can be accessed, and reduce overall access … Continue reading

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A white flag moment on the NBN was inevitable.

This week’s capitulation – that’s what it is – by communications minister Paul Fletcher sets us on a course that hopefully will see Australia start moving in the right direction again as we head further into a digitally-enabled future. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in NBN, Politics, Top 5 | Tagged | 17 Comments

NBN Debacle. Wherefore art thou, minister?

What has been described as the country’s all-time biggest infrastructure debacle – the National Broadband Network – is a financial and technological mess.

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LAURIE PATTON. The Opposition Leader is correct. We need a decentralisation plan

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese is right. In his latest vision speech he pointed to the benefits of decentralisation. It’s time we stopped cramming more and more people into already overcrowded cities.

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. Badly designed. Badly marketed. The virus that has infected the Australian government

In the same week that Labor front-benchers Kristina Keneally and Tim Watts released a discussion paper examining Australia’s cyber resilience the Government was battling to convince us to download an app that IT experts and lawyers warn has basic design … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 17 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. Three Blind Mice – Caught in the Netflix trap

Australia’s commercial television networks are in trouble. Not simply because of the Coronavirus but because they failed to develop effective strategies to counter the arrival of Netflix and other ‘streaming’ platforms – something anticipated long before it happened.

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LAURIE PATTON. Public administration accountability is not what it used to be!

Blame shifting between state and federal government agencies over how a cruise ship carrying people suspected to have the Coronavirus was allowed into the port of Sydney has shown up, yet again, the lack of public administration accountability in this … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. A virtual solution to 21st Century government

As most of us are holed-up in our homes working or studying online as a response to the Coronavirus a bunch of politicians are ignoring medical advice and gathering together in Canberra. Perhaps it’s time for a virtual parliament?

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. Let’s add fixing the NBN to our post Coronavirus planning

People are being required to work from home. Students are doing lessons online. Telehealth consultations are now being bulk-billed. All this will change the way we use the Internet forever.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. An opportunity for the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission to prove its mettle

The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission provides an opportunity for Australia to start planning for a post Coronavirus era – let’s begin by fixing the NBN.

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LAURIE PATTON. Telstra bells the broadband cat and spays NBN Co.

Telstra’s decision this week to only offer a maximum 50Mbps plan to more than half its NBN customers is another setback in the quest for #BetterBroadband.

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. School’s Out – Time for better governance and oversight in the education sector

The principal resigned, his deputy stood aside, but apparently the school board knew nothing.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. Sports rorts shows need for public sector re-think

The buck has to stop somewhere. Despite the prime minister’s best efforts when it comes to the so-called ‘sport rorts’ affair it’s unlikely to stop with a temporarily sacked minister.

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. How the OTIS group did Albanese a favour

A group of disgruntled federal Labor politicians  known as the OTIS group and dubbed by some  the ‘outside the inner sanctum group’ has helped Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese in a number of ways they probably didn’t intend.

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. NBN latest: Oh dear, what can the matter be?

I’ve argued before, the only viable solution is to start replacing all the dud technology and that requires that we take the politics out and develop a bipartisan solution.

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. The Data Retention Act. How not to introduce complex legislation.

Appearing before a Parliamentary inquiry into the Data Retention Act the Commonwealth Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe revealed that law enforcement agencies have obtained individuals’ web browsing history without a warrant.

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LAURIE PATTON. Overexposed – let’s hear from someone else!

In the film classic Casablanca, whenever a crime is committed the local police captain orders his officers to round up the usual suspects. Political commentary, in fact public commentary in general in Australia suffers from the Casablanca effect. The same … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. It’s now or never for the NBN

Last week submissions closed for a parliamentary inquiry into the National Broadband Network. TelSoc, of which I recently became vice-president, lodged a submission prepared by a working group of highly qualified industry experts.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. Catch 22.0 – We wouldn’t need inquiries if public administration wasn’t so broken – UPDATED

Predictably, we are seeing calls for a Royal Commission into the bushfires that have Australia in crisis mode right now – either in the genuine hope of finding answers or finding someone to blame.

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. My New Year’s wish – more collaborative technology policy development

A report released by communications minister Paul Fletcher has confirmed that so-called ‘Internet piracy’ declined dramatically following the arrival of Netflix and other online streaming services – debunking the need for ‘site-blocking’ laws controversially introduced following a well-funded lobbying effort … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure | Leave a comment

LAURIE PATTON. Unintended consequences: How NSW planning laws have stolen democracy from ratepayers

One of the fundamental principles of the democratic system enjoyed in Australia for more than 200 years is the right to make representations to your local MP, or in the case of local government to your elected councillors. Regrettably, changes … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. The Assange dilemma updated. What is journalism in the online age?

It’s time for more humane treatment of Julian Assange. Guilt or innocence aside nobody should be treated the way he is allegedly being treated. More than 60 doctors have now written an open letter to the UK authorities saying he … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. OK Boomer – know thine enemy

In the 20th Century each successive generation fared better than their parents, both socially and financially. The likelihood is that trend will continue this century – if we all work together finding solutions to the very serious problems facing the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. Catch 22.0 – we wouldn’t need inquiries if public administration wasn’t so broken

On ABC Insiders host Fran Kelly asked health minister Greg Hunt why the Government didn’t have an immediate response ready on the aged care royal commission report just released. “It wasn’t a surprise to anyone, was it”, Ms Kelly observed … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. More broadband porkies. Buying an NBN pig in a poke

To quote veteran IT journalist Sam Varghese,“NBN Co’s latest attempt to put lipstick on a pig – the animal in this case being the network it is building and the make-up in question being speed – goes one step further … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

LAURIE PATTON. Telstra should stop whinging and help fix our dud NBN

Earlier in the week Telstra chair, John Mullen, conceded that the company must accept some of the blame for our flawed National Broadband Network due to its ‘recalcitrance’ back in 2007/2008 when it submitted a bid that didn’t meet the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

LAURIE PATTON. Miscommunication. Paul Fletcher spins his top like turvey

Communications minister Paul Fletcher spoke at an industry conference and outdid his Coalition predecessors in an extraordinary attempt to defend the beleaguered National Broadband Network. These are just some of the comments he made to an incredulous audience of IT … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. Time to stop digging our way out of trouble. A lesson from the past?

For the foreseeable future Australia will rely on mining for economic growth and to maintain our current standard of living. Yet unresolved debates over a number of proposed coal mines have exposed a rift in political circles that may well … Continue reading

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LAURIE PATTON. How Malcolm Turnbull missed his chance to fix the NBN

Internet access is now the most complained about telco service in Australia according to the Telecommunications Ombudsman’s latest report. While complaints about mobile phones have been on the decline recently, the state of our trouble-plagued NBN continues to see consumers … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Technology | 2 Comments