Follow this site by email:

Queensland's Government House costs a King's ransom to run

Queensland's Government House costs a King's ransom to run

Queensland's magnificent Government House in the leafy Brisbane suburb of Paddington is costing taxpayers a veritable King's ransom to run - and the cost is blowing out by the year!

$190,000 a year tax free is not a bad lurk in anybody's language.

And the other perks of office such as free accommodation, meals fit for a King and Queen, a lavish wine cellar and butlers and maids at one's beck and call would be a massive inducement for anyone offered this once-in-a-lifetime job.

The next Governor of Queensland - who takes over from the incumbent Quentin Bryce on September 5 - is likely to be the last Governor of Queensland, as Australia inevitably heads towards a democratic republic.

Under an Australian republic, the need for 6 State Governors appointed by the Queen of England will disappear overnight.

Government House could become a tourist facility or a museum of a bygone era when the last Governor, appointed by the Queen of Queensland - who happens to be the Queen of England and the Queen of Australia - finishes his or her term of office.

Sol Trujillo laughs all the way to the bank as consumers fume!

According to The Courier-Mail on 8 December 2007, the CEO of Telstra Sol Trujillo now has an obscene pay package of $22 million a year.

It's a pity that his lust for the big money is not reciprocated to consumers with an emphasis on quality service.

Just take this example of Telstra treating customers with total disdain.

Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo
thinking of ways to increase
his $22 million annual salary

Last Tuesday 3 June 2008, my home phone / internet line went as dead as a door nail and was promptly reported to Telstra with a guarantee it would be fixed by 7pm Tuesday 10 June 2008.

This was despite advice today from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman that this time frame exceeded the customer guarantee for fixing landline faults, which Telstra is obliged to follow.

I was assured that if a technician attended my home and we were not there, they would leave a calling card with a contact number.

On Friday, I called Telstra on an unrelated matter and was told that no technician had yet been assigned to my job - 3 days after the initial complaint.

Today, a check with Telstra in Ipswich revealed that a technician did come out on Saturday but had failed to leave a calling card.

The problem was supposedly a line fault in the second pit from my home which allegedly had concrete over the top of the pit.

Today, I personally inspected all of the pits from my home for a distance of 250 metres. Lo and behold, there was no sign of any concrete impeding access to any pit over that distance.

Sol Trujillo holds up 10 fingers -
one for each of the almost
$100,000 he earns each
weekday as head of Telstra.

A call to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) gave me a reference number and a contact number with Telstra who blithely told me that they had 10 days to respond positively to a TIO complaint but that they would pass my complaint onto a case officer.

I suppose I should be really grateful for that.

So, Telstra now has 17 days to fix this line problem!

You make a complaint to the TIO which automatically gives Telstra extra time to finalise the matter - a pretty, bloody stupid system.

The TIO stated that Telstra will be liable for breaching their Customer Service Guarantee with a daily penalty of $14.52 for 5 days (after either 1 or 3 days, depending upon my location) plus $48.40 a day thereafter.

Frankly, I cannot give a hoot about this compensation.

As a loyal customer of Telstra for 34 years, I expect nothing more and nothing less than a prompt response to my complaint with the line being fixed as a matter of priority.

And a note left in my letterbox as promised, rather than hanging around like a dill waiting for Telstra to arrive.

In the good old days in the 60s, you could speak directly with a technician at the local exchange and get prompt replies and service.

Now, while Sol Trujillo counts his weekly salary of $423,000, all I want is my bloody phone connection restored!

Is this Sol Trujillo
counting his $1.83 million
monthly pay packet?

Sol - is that too much to ask?

Sol, Sol - are you listening?

Sol, Sol - what's that noise? Actually, it sounds like bank notes being counted with ecstatic laughter every few seconds!

Sol, Sol - I know you are busy but could you please spend just a few minutes to help one of your loyal customers.

Have you had a problem with Telstra?
Has Telstra failed to give you proper service within a reasonable time frame?
Has Telstra treated you as a nuisance rather than a customer?
Queensland and Australian Politics & Consumer Affairs with full details.

John Howard's Garter will boost the Republican cause in Australia

John Howard slunk off into the west on election night like a mongrel dog but is now reportedly planning a triumphant return courtesy of Queen Elizabeth.

He left as plain old Mr Howard - and now sees himself coming back to haunt the people of Australia as a Knight of Realm, Order of the Garter - Sir John Winston Howard.

loody hell!

To me, he will always be the recalcitrant, conservative Prime Minister of Australia who treated Aborigines with disdain, caused enormous hurt to hundreds of thousands of Australian families with his draconian industrial laws, who regarded the environment as his playtoy and who never embraced any major social change in his 33 years in Parliament.

On 23 April, he might arise as Sir John with the Order of the Garter in his hand but I am sure there will be many Aussie battlers who would like to see the Royal Garter placed securely around this political troglodyte's neck.

Queen Elizabeth must be a closet republican because if there is anything likely to trigger anti-monarchist sentiments in Australia, it is the image of a defeated, conservative politician receiving an undeserved, out-of-touch gong from Australia's Head of State - the Queen of England.

This is the site for thinking and politically-astute Australians.
Do you have a contribution about Queensland or Australian
Politics or a burning consumer issue or disgraceful ripoff?
Paul Tully with full details for the whole world to read.