Dear Stephen, your site is broken again


satire Dear Stephen,

you know how I wrote to you in February letting you know that your website is broken? Yup, it happened again.

I know, right! Can’t your department do anything properly? It’s not like you’re asking for much.

I mean, I can imagine the meeting you had with your team when you asked them to look after the NBN Implementation Study for you. You would have looked around the room and said: “Is there anybody here who knows how to put a PDF document on a website?”

Then, because you’re in charge and too busy to worry about details like a PDF being on a website, everyone would have volunteered to do it for you, so that you can do the important things like getting that bit about the NBN inserted into Kevin’s speech to the Melbourne Press Club today.

But when it comes down to it, there probably aren’t many people in your department who know how to put a PDF document on a website, Stephen. I mean, look what happened when they tried!

I know the PDF eventually got onto the website, but it was too late — by then all the bloggers were complaining about it on Twitter. Just like last time when your website was broken. Even though it wasn’t your fault. It was more than likely Liberal staff members hired when Helen was in charge that were the problem.

It was the same with that meeting you wanted to have with the journalists to explain the PDF document. I bet that at the same meeting with your staff, you looked around the room, and said: “Is there anybody here who knows how to get journalists in a room?”

Again, everybody would have wanted to impress you, so they would have all nodded and volunteered to help you out with getting journalists in a room.

But instead, what happened is that your guys only let the journalists know about the special room with the special briefing three hours beforehand, and only told certain journalists who don’t really understand technology. You know, the ones in Canberra — not the technology journalists in Sydney.

In addition, your staff told the journalists that they would not be allowed to bring mobile phones or laptop wireless cards into the room to write stories.

That wasn’t very smart of them, Stephen.

You know, and I know, Stephen that journalists can’t file stories without their mobile phones and laptops! That’s why it was really silly of your staff to do that! This way, most people in Australia won’t ever know what was really in that PDF document.

I know that over the next few days, you’ll be kicking some ass over this one, Stephen. And rightly so.

Anyway, I wanted to congratulate you on publishing the Implementation Study today. It was really good of you to make it look like Scott made you publish it, when really you were going to publish it all the time. You were just waiting for the right moment.

The thing I liked most about the study was how KPMG and McKinsey independently decided that it would cost the same amount to build the NBN as you had already said. Well, almost. They said it would cost $42.8 billion and you said it would cost $43 billion, which is pretty close, although there is a $200 million difference, but that doesn’t matter because it’s not company money, it’s government money.

Anyway, it’s good that the numbers are almost the same because it shows that you were right all along. I always knew this, but some of those nasty “journalists” have been claiming that it would cost a lot more to build the NBN and that there wasn’t any business case for the NBN — but now we know that’s just wrong because the numbers were the same and now NBN Co is going to have a business case and everything, so that just proves you were right all along.

Isn’t that right, Stephen?

Anyway, it has been nice corresponding with you, and I hope you get that website problem fixed for next time you need to put a PDF document there. Maybe you could get Telstra to put it in their “cloud”. But then, wouldn’t it be a bit hard to reach?

Kind regards,

Renai LeMay

PS And don’t worry about Tony, as you know, he’s just jealous because he doesn’t have an NBN Implementation Study. Have you noticed how he has the same name as that other Tony in his party, Stephen? But he doesn’t have an NBN Implementation Study either. So neither Tony is cool. I know that you knew that, but I just thought I’d point it out.

Image credit: Office of Stephen Conroy


  1. Shame the “technology journalists” in this country has zero credibility. They then might find they have some relevence. I was in Canberra in the 70’s and 80s and from memory, the lock-up briefing for market sensitive documents was standard practice then… still is today. The theory seems to be that because you blog, you’re really, really special. Bollocks.

    • hey Phil, actually I would disagree with you — there are quite a few technology journalists out there that have credibility. I particularly like what Ben Grubb does at, Ry Crozier at iTnews, the team at Communications Day, Paul Smith at the AFR for the CIO-level stuff and Fran Foo at the Australian always breaks a fair few scoops. Lock-up briefings where journalists can’t even take in their mobile phones is un-transparent and ridiculous.

      • [Devil’s Advocate] But, forcing journalists to look at the entire document and *not* tweet out their off-the-cuff, possibly incomplete analysis allows for more accurate reporting of the data provided by the government. [/Devil’s Advocate]

        Not saying I agree, just providing another view-point.

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