Jobs, housing, lifestyle the keys to our future

By LAURIE PATTON | 29 June 2022

Come September a group of industry leaders, politicians, academics and consultants will gather in Canberra to grapple with some of the most challenging social, economic and political issues facing Australia. Provocatively titled “Regionalisation – Rebalancing the nation” the event will present an opportunity to consider where Australia should head, and where we should all live, as we emerge from an all-consuming pandemic.

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Space invaders — better broadband or sky vandalism?

One day a rooster, the next day a feather duster

By LAURIE PATTON | 9 January 2022

We must ensure that private companies placing objects in space don’t create another environmental disaster like the plastic pollution in our oceans.

Sixty years ago the Antarctic Treaty was created to reduce the risk of environmental damage and to establish a multinational governance regime. It looks like a similar arrangement is long overdue when it comes to the increasing exploitation of space.

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NBN update. Let’s not compound a history of poor policy making

One day a rooster, the next day a feather duster!

By LAURIE PATTON | 18 November 2020

In years to come Malcolm Turnbull will be remembered as the communications minister who, under an 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 nascent aim of becoming an innovation nation and set us back in an emerging digitally enabled world. Are we heading towards a repeat of this mistake in telecommunications policy?

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Data Retention — an Act of blindness

One day a rooster, the next day a feather duster!

By LAURIE PATTON | 30 October 2020

Shortly after joining Internet Australia as CEO in 2014 I fronted the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Security and Intelligence (PJCIS) to make a submission on the subsequently enacted Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Act 2015. I boldly told the committee that the draft Bill before the Parliament was “fundamentally flawed” and had clearly been written by lawyers who didn’t understand how the Internet actually works.

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A Lucky Country, or the land of the Luddites?

One day a rooster, the next day a feather duster!

By LAURIE PATTON | 27 October 2020

Australia invented the technology underpinning Wi-Fi, along with the ‘black box’ flight recorder, ultrasound scanners and the heart pacemaker – just to mention some of our globally recognised innovations. We have an enviable track record when it comes to technology.

And yet, apparently Prime Minister Scott Morrison just wants us to adopt other country’s technologies these days. This week he told us, “we’re not trying to create the next Silicon Valley here in Australia. That’s not it. We’ve just got to be the best at adopting (other country’s technology)”.

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NBN glass still only half full

One day a rooster, the next day a feather duster!

By LAURIE PATTON | 23 September 2020

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 a welcomed move, but we’d be wise to take a close look at the detail in his National Press Club address before getting too excited.

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It’s time for a virtual parliament

One day a rooster, the next day a feather duster!

By LAURIE PATTON | 18 July 2020

With an increasing number of COVID-19 cases being reported across the country, especially in Melbourne and Sydney, regular scheduled meetings of the federal parliament have been cancelled.

This means the country will be run by a government that cannot be held accountable by the opposition and other non-government MP’s.

Perhaps it’s time for a virtual parliament? This is, after all, the 21st Century. We have the technology. Why not use it?

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NBN Debacle. Wherefore art thou, minister?

By LAURIE PATTON | 30 June 2020

Today we have finally reached the much-vaunted date on which the Government said it would have completed the rollout of the trouble-plagued National Broadband Network. Despite widespread industry expectations a media blitz by communications minister Paul Fletcher has so far not materialised. No ribbon cuttings and no skywriter plane spelling out “Mission Accomplished” as some jokingly predicted (see postscript).

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COVIDFail — the IT debacle that could cost lives. UPDATED

The Mandarin

By LAURIE PATTON | 14 July 2020

A rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases being reported in Victoria and New South Wales. China re-instating restrictions as it sees infections return. Our chief medical officer says his greatest fear is a second wave, and there’s the likelihood the coronavirus will linger around forever like the flu.

Yet another IT debacle from the federal government. But this one is different. In this case we could see people die.

The blunt reality is the COVIDSafe app is a dud. Poorly designed and incapabale of doing what it is intended to do. We need a contact tracing app that actually works.

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