Archive for February, 2006

Blues with black spots

Cartoon for Blues with Black Spots

First published in TJA Vol 56 No 1 2006 pp.34-35

The federal government has committed billions in recent years to improve communications for rural and regional Australians. But insufficient has been done to address service inequalities that have bedevilled residents and businesses in outer urban areas for at least 30 years.

Take the following entry in The Latham Diaries for example.

Tuesday, 22 August 1995

“Another blue with Michael Lee, this time over the (046) telephone zone in the southern part of my electorate. Whitlam and Kerin banged on about this for years with no success. Why should people in outer metropolitan areas have to pay STD rates when the unit cost to Telstra is the same right across Sydney?”

So even the highly reformist Whitlam government was out-manoeuvred by the wily managers of the Post Master General’s Department – no doubt working within tight capital borrowing limits in those departmental days.
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