UPMART SAID NO! TO THE SALE OF TELSTRA!
United People Movement Against Regressive Telecommunications Legislation.
It is always a sad day for the people when community assets such as Telstra are sold into the hands of those with money....
We have seen the relentless sale of all our profitable assets such as gas, electricity, water, trains, national and state forests, barrier reefs and national fishing reserves, airports terminals, and much more. The list reads like a telephone book.
When will it end. When will greed be satisfied...
There are certain community assets that are essential services and ought not be sold. Many UPMART members hold the position that Telecom Australia was a community asset that ought not have been sold for many reasons not the lease of them being that it is an essential service and essential services arguably should remain under the control of parliament and ultimately the electors.
Now that the sell-off is in is done, we ought support those telecommuncations ISP's that promote freedom of communication, such as IINet, led by Michael Malone.
Certain of the issues that were relevant back then remain current today in 2012 and beyond. Here are a few of them:
1. Members of parliament sold a community owned asset that was the most profitable asset owned by Ausralians.
Telecom Australia was a community asset, built up by Australians for Australians with their taxes and service and line charge payments.
Telecom Australia provided jobs and was making huge profits for the Australian Federal Government.
Telecom was one of the biggest employers of Australians, and Australians were proud of this asset.
The consolidated revenue arising from Telecoms profit was in those days over 8 Billion dollars per year.
2 Members of parliament sold a community owned asset without the consent of the electors.
The public consensus was agaisnt the selloff of Telecom. Yet the government went ahead anyway. Why was there no referendum? Why was a referendum opposed by both major political parties?
The only way to fairly sell a public asset owned by the people is to distribute equal shares to the people, that is to each elector on the elecoral roles. The electors then have a right to sell those shares when the company is floated. In this way the Billions of dollars finds its way into the hands of the people.
Instead this awesome and valuable public asset was stolen from the people by corrupt governments and particular greedy individuals. Billions of dollars was stolen from you and me.
People were asked to buy shares in something they already owned. How insulting is that. Yet the people fell for it.
3. Members of parliament did not action obvious solutions to their percieved problems.
The pathetic exuse of the day for the big selloff was "competition". This bogus ground falls apart when considering the huge amounts of profit made by Telecom Australia. If the government truly wanted to
a) reduce the price of telecommunications for the average consumer, if the government truly
then all our government needed to do was to direct Telecom Australia to meet performance objectives and reduce its fees and charges.
Even in those days it was economically feasible to charge a flat rate of $300 or less per line per year for all local and STD calls around Australia. No call rates, just a single flat rate. The Government did not do this. Why because of greed and pressure for pargicular greedy individuals and business organisations that do not have the interests of people as one of their objectives. The overheads of a telecommuncations network relative to the huge customer base are not high after the infrastructure is put in. That is why Telecom Australia had a multi billion dollar profit each year...
4. Members of parliament breached their duty of care.
4.1 The duty of government is to protect public assets and public infrastructure. This is a fundamental duty of care obligation incumben on all members fo parliament. Yet this is not what the members of parliaement did. The men and women whom the electors voted in sold out to the pressures of International Corporations who wanted a slice of the Australian Telecommunications market. The members of parliament chose to cheat Australians out of their public asset and hand those assets to those with the money. Particular Multinational Entrepeneurs wanted money and power- lots of money and lots of power for themselves and their fraternities. They now have that money and that power, and our telecommunications services are fully user pay.
4.2. Telecom Australia WAS fundamental to our national security. Was it an act of treachery by members of parliaement to destroy an asset fundamental to our national security? Kim Beasley in those days made public comments to this effect.
5. Efficiency problems...
With so many heads to the hydra of telecommunications, certain jobs have become more complex. For example gone are the days of ease of use when Telecom was a "one stop business". These days if you want to dig a trench for a line you must find a contractor, which is a great bother. In the past Telecom did the job, with little to no bother. So are we truly any better off.
Imagine have a cheap and UNSENSORED commnications system where only one payment of $300 per year for all your telecommunications needs, including for your fixed-landline for all all your phone calls to anywhere in Australia. No more to pay! $300 per year and that's it. It is possible, however this initiative is on hold due to the rapid changes in the telecommunications industry.
The issue that is not changing and that issue is the push to futher sell the governments remaining 50% share of Telstra.
Another UPMART Action on this issue is forseeable
WE SAY NO TO ANY FURTHER SALE OF TELSTRA.
We say that the members of the Federal government pursuant to sections 51-5, 51-6 of the Australia's Federal Constitution have a duty of care obligation and a constitutional contract with the people to maintain a national Telecommunications industry owned and operated by the Commonwealth.
Section 51-5 for example says "The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to (v) postal, telegraphic, telephonic, and other like services."
The obligation and duty is straight forward enough.
Another ground at law is arises from section 51-6 ,
"The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to (vi) the naval and military defence of the Commonwealth and of the several States, and the control of the forces to execute and maintain the laws of the Commonwealth;"
As already stated, it is self-evident that communications infrastructure is vital to the defence of the states and of the Commonwealth and that the sale of this security resource to a multinational corporation is not in the interests of the states or the Commonwealth, and is a violation by the elected members of their duty of care obligation to protect this nation. The sale of this security resource will jeopardise the security of the people of our Commonwealth.
There are many other legal grounds that we shall use in opposing the sale of Telstra, but these these two are simple and easy for electors to promote.>