What ABC’s 7.30 got wrong (and refused to correct) about ‘that’​ Kennett story!

By LAURIE PATTON | 20 February 2017

Channel Seven did not ‘hold over’ a Today Tonight story about Jeff Kennett to “placate the premier”. But the ABC saw something nefarious in the decision, and its bosses wouldn’t be swayed by facts.

One can only assume that a steadfast determination to defend a 20 year old Four Corners report outweighed any serious quest for the truth. It is perhaps notable that some of those involved in recent events were previously employed at both Today Tonight and Four Corners.

The incident also highlights a lack of understanding of the role of editor-in-chief on the part of ABC managing director, Michelle Guthrie.

Continue reading “What ABC’s 7.30 got wrong (and refused to correct) about ‘that’​ Kennett story!”

The Internet of Opportunity

By LAURIE PATTON | 4 August 2016

The biggest threat to our success as an Internet of Things (IoT) nation is a loss of trust by people at large. We need effective collaboration between government, industry and civil society to ensure we foster innovation in a manner that creates and ensures security and confidence.

As we consider our IoT future, technology is only part of the equation. Making sure that there is market for newfangled technology and technology based services was a key element that led to the DotCom boom / bust. Too many clever ideas with no serious, or only limited, market interest cruelled many a startup back then.

Continue reading “The Internet of Opportunity”

Generalists and specialists in the Australian public service: Why the ‘theory of empty spaces’ hurts public sector performance

By LAURIE PATTON | 19 April 2016

The other day I was talking to a friend who recently retired from the public service. After a career lifetime of studied discretion he now wears as a badge of honour his entitlement to express independent views. Many of these are critical of the processes that played a pivotal part in his rise to a very senior posting.

I have a number of colleagues who are now ex-public servants, having held extremely high level executive roles. I enjoy hearing about their work experiences more now that they are unencumbered by ambition. Continue reading “Generalists and specialists in the Australian public service: Why the ‘theory of empty spaces’ hurts public sector performance”

NBN stars collide – waiting for the Big Bang

By LAURIE PATTON | 10 March 2016 

Two stars collided in Canberra last week, but the big bang is yet to be heard.

On Thursday, a leak from somewhere inside NBN revealed that our nation building broadband company has been secretly trialling new, thinner, cabling that will significantly reduce installation costs for the entire fibre-optic backbone, including the technically superior fibre to the premises (FTTP) solution.

On Friday, the Senate Select Committee on the NBN held a one day hearing. Continue reading “NBN stars collide – waiting for the Big Bang”

Pirates of Perchance: How “site-blocking” could force up Internet fees but do little else

By LAURIE PATTON | 26 February 2018

Both Village Roadshow and Foxtel have launched court actions under the new Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act designed to deal with Internet “piracy”.

The first thing that needs pointing out is that downloading video and audio content over the Internet is a not a crime as such. It is, however, in breach of the intellectual property rights of the producers and distributors.

Continue reading “Pirates of Perchance: How “site-blocking” could force up Internet fees but do little else”

Utopia: the professor, the public service, and the need for change

By LAURIE PATTON | 16 February 2016

In an article in The Mandarin former Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Department, Professor Peter Shergold, is quoted urging public servants to adapt and to show courage.

Shergold is spot on. But before things can change we need to be willing to accept that mistakes are made, even by the best of people. Continue reading “Utopia: the professor, the public service, and the need for change”

Malcolm Turnbull: NBN killer or saviour?

By LAURIE PATTON | 28 December 2015

The ABC Online News headline was pretty blunt: “Abbott orders Turnbull to demolish NBN”. In the article itself then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is quoted as saying: “The Government is going to invest $43 billion worth of hard-earned money in what I believe is going to turn out to be a white elephant on a massive scale”.

Fast forward five years and the cost of the Coalition’s NBN is now put at $46-56 billion, with many experts maintaining that this significantly understates the likely real cost. Confusion and disagreement reign as to how long it will take to complete our much needed broadband rollout. Continue reading “Malcolm Turnbull: NBN killer or saviour?”