Lost Newcastle - Carol Duncan
Victoria Theatre - Nancy Tapp

Victoria Theatre - Nancy Tapp

May 21, 2021

The Victoria Theatre is the oldest theatre still standing in NSW. Opened in 1876, it was rebuilt in 1890/91 and added to the NSW State Heritage Register in 1999. 

Nancy Tapp performed at the Victoria Theatre in the 1950s and in this podcast, reminisces about the theatre and the shows she danced in. 

The Wallis Album - Carol Duncan speaks with Aunty Nola Hawken& Ron Ramsey

The Wallis Album - Carol Duncan speaks with Aunty Nola Hawken& Ron Ramsey

May 11, 2021

After 194 years, a previously unknown album of drawings from 1818, including landscapes and portraits of Aboriginal people from the Newcastle region, returned to Newcastle for a brief exhibition by the State Library of NSW.

In this episode, Carol Duncan speaks with Aunty Nola Hawken, descendant of 'Queen' Margaret and Ned of Swansea; and the Director of the Newcastle Art Gallery, Ron Ramsey.

Recorded 2012. 

Cathedral Park - Resting in Pieces

Cathedral Park - Resting in Pieces

June 29, 2020

How often have you stopped for a rest on one of the low stone retaining walls at Blackbutt Reserve? Chances are, you’re sitting on the remains of the early headstones from Newcastle’s first European burial ground at Christ Church Cathedral. Find out more at lostnewcastle.com.au

The Wallis Album - Carol Duncan & Dr Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian

The Wallis Album - Carol Duncan & Dr Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian

March 27, 2019

The Wallis Album

After 194 years, a previously unknown album of drawings from 1818, including landscapes and portraits of Aboriginal people from the Newcastle region, returned to Newcastle for a brief exhibition by the State Library of NSW.
In this episode, Carol Duncan speaks with Dr Alex Byrne, the NSW State Librarian and Chief Executive, about the significance of the album.
[Recorded 2012]
Friday Music Show | 24 January 2014 - Mark Tinson, Pete de Jong, John Paul Young, Russell Morris, Ty Penshorn

Friday Music Show | 24 January 2014 - Mark Tinson, Pete de Jong, John Paul Young, Russell Morris, Ty Penshorn

January 14, 2018
It was my birthday. What would you do? Mark Tinson, Pete de Jong, Mac, John Paul Young, Russell Morris, Ty Penshorn, 
Friday Music Show | 3 October 2014 - Part 1 Bella , Part 2 Grant Walmsley on Malcolm Young

Friday Music Show | 3 October 2014 - Part 1 Bella , Part 2 Grant Walmsley on Malcolm Young

January 14, 2018
Friday Music Show with Bella, and Grant Walmsley on Malcolm Young AC/DC.
Friday Music Show | 12 September 2014 - Mark Tinson, terror alerts, Jimi Hendrix & Pat has burgers with Led Zeppelin

Friday Music Show | 12 September 2014 - Mark Tinson, terror alerts, Jimi Hendrix & Pat has burgers with Led Zeppelin

January 14, 2018
In which Mark Tinson joins me to discuss terror alerts & Jimi Hendrix, Pat calls in to brag about having burgers with Led Zeppelin during their Australian tour, local artists Adam Miller and Jason Lowe. 
Don Walker | Cold Chisel - 2014

Don Walker | Cold Chisel - 2014

January 14, 2018
Don Walker - 2014
Alex Smith | Moving Pictures - 2013

Alex Smith | Moving Pictures - 2013

January 14, 2018
Alex is a Newcastle kid! In this 2013 interview, he talks about the effect of their record company collapsing at the height of their career.
Stevie Wright | The Easybeats -2009

Stevie Wright | The Easybeats -2009

January 14, 2018
In 2009, I had the chance to interview the legendary Stevie Wright - lead singer of The Easybeats in the 1960s and trouble rockstar ever after. I was warned in advance that I should pre-record the interview as Stevie was 'a bit slow' after years of serious drug and alcohol abuse. Happily, I didn't find him at all difficult to chat with. Indeed, Stevie's openness about his heroin addiction and his desperation to shake it are incredibly moving. 
Tony Robinson 2012

Tony Robinson 2012

January 10, 2018
Tony Robinson talks about how to encourage a community to care about its history.
Tony Robinson is perhaps best known to an older generation of television viewer as Baldrick from Blackadder, but to younger generations he's known as the guy leading archaeological digs on Time Team or the poor unfortunate host up to his knees in a tank of urine in Worst Jobs In History (that story was about tanning hides for leather).
In December, 2011, Tony was filming in Australia for his series Tony Robinson's Time Walks in which he visits cities to reveal their history.
Carol Duncan caught up with him in Cathedral Park, what was Newcastle's first burial ground at Christ Church Cathedral, to find out how we can continue to encourage people to care about their local history.
'I think the most important thing we can do is to talk to your kids about it. I know I have such a vivid passion for history is because my dad used to talk to me about his adventures in World War II,' said Tony.
'Not that he had a glorious war or anything, he was just a fitter working on the Spitfires and Hurricanes, but he was a working class boy and it was probably his first time away from home for any extended time and he had so many adventures, his eyes used to shine when he told me about them.'
'I got this vivid picture of what it must have been like to be an ordinary aircraftsman in World War II, a time far beyond my ken as a little boy, so I've always - as far back as I can remember - had an understanding of things before I was born.'
How does Tony Robinson perceive Australians and our feelings about our own history?
'There's always a feeling that Australians, white Australians particularly, feel a bit embarrassed about the brevity of their history. I think the history of the last 200 years here has been quite extraordinary', he said.
'This notion that a combination of a handful of free settlers and lots and lots of pretty hard-nosed convicts - a lot of them political dissidents remember, so these would have been people who dreamers, utopians, political activists in Britain who wouldn't have been able to get a look in, but here suddenly they had a whole continent they could take command of and the psyche of people here seems to be so different from what's happened virtually everywhere else in the world and I think it's remarkable and to be celebrated.'
'But the story of human life here prior to Captain Cook is absolutely fascinating and it's always tantalising to me with indigenous people that so much of their history and archaeology is so fragile.'
Ben Gillies - Silverchair/Bento 2012

Ben Gillies - Silverchair/Bento 2012

January 10, 2018
Silverchair have been one of Australia's most successful bands for the last 20 years. Drummer Ben Gillies joined Carol Duncan in the studio for a chat about his solo project - Bento, and why he continues to call Newcastle home.
Daniel Johns, Chris Joannou and Ben Gillies were just kids doing work experience at a Newcastle radio station when I first met them nearly 20 years ago. Those three boys have gone on to become strong and confident men and wonderful musicians - collectively and individually. I suspect the whole town is pretty proud of them.
In 2012, the band have celebrated 20 years of Australian and international success, 21 ARIA awards from 49 nominations, 6 APRA awards, and all five of their studio albums have reached number one of the Australian album charts.
Over the last few years the three members of the band have also gone out to do their own musical projects and drummer, Ben Gillies, came into the studios to talk about life, music, growing up in public, and taking the leap into solo performance.
What was it like, being a kid, being thrust into that level of media interest and intrusion? "We were pretty unaware. Blissfully unaware. We were too worried about playing our music and running around and going to diners and just being teenage boys. We had good people around us, so we were fairly sheltered."
The members of Silverchair studied at Newcastle High School when Peter McNair was principal. "He was a really good school principal. I remember a few times, the three of us would rock up to his office - in a good way, we weren't in trouble - but we had these grand ideas of putting concerts on at the school and we'd sell him on why we had to do it and how we could make it happen. He was really accommodating. I'm pretty sure he wasn't supposed to do some things he let us get away with. He let us put on concerts, we'd rehearse in the music room and do all kinds of stuff."
It's often suggested that parents are the biggest obstacle to their children pursuing their dreams. Parents want their children to be secure, to 'have a good job', so convincing your parents you want to be a rock star, and then actually pulling it off, must be quite a coup! "We were young enough to just go with it. We were still just teenages running around so we were living in the moment. But we were setting ourselves up for a long-term career, we weren't thinking 'let's just go out and milk this for all its worth and then it's all over'. We were conscious of making long term things. And our parents were as well, all the people around us. We were very lucky."
Ben Gillies late 2012 released his first Bento album, launched with the single Diamond Days and a fabulous video featuring a very interesting young actor. "He's a family friend of the producer. We did a bit of casting to have an l a few different possibilities but, the producer just said I know the young boy to do it. He gets right into character. His whole family really helped out, they were really accommodating. He's just seven."
"It was a two day shoot, we did his stuff first then we did the performance stuff with me. He rocked out, there were a few moments he was on the performance stage and Holly, the producer, came up and said he'd been asking, "Why is it all about Ben today, it feel like this music video is all about Ben today. Why isn't it about me as much today!"
Bento isn't Ben's first solo effort outside Silverchair, he's previously released music with Tambalane, "Tambalane was a stepping stone really. Kind of like a summer fling. I think I really wanted to write with another person, because I hadn't had that responsibility of writing on my own."
" Outside Silverchair there isn't the infrastructure and the big budgets and all that. Doing stuff independently, it's almost a lot more pressure on the songwriter. Everything is you, there's no one else to take the load a bit. For me to do something outside of that with Tambalane was that step to get to Bento, to give me the confidence to do my own thing."
"It's scary as hell but I think it's one of those things where I don't want to be a old man, sitting in a pub somewhere drinking a beer thinking, 'Why didn't I give that a crack back when I had the chance."
"The thing with Silverchair as well is because it is such a big beast, and it's great, I love that side of what I do, but it does take up a lot of energy and time. So I've never really had enough drive to do my own thing. Silverchair going into indefinite hibernation has just given me the time and the freedom to be able to do it. Now I have that confidence to think, 'Bugger it, I'm going to do my own thing'. The confidence, the motivation, the time, the effort, it was the right time."
"You do have to have that understanding that people are subjective. Everyone in the world isn't going to love your music. But you still want it to be received positively. The reaction has been amazing. It is you putting your neck out there. It's almost like you're standing in front of people, the full monty saying, 'Here I am, check it out. Here it is, I can't change it, and it is what it is."
So. Silverchair's 'indefinite hibernation'. What gives?
"Even if you do work with someone for 20 years, and you go to work from 9-5, you still have some time to yourself, and can do other things. It kind of feels like a business relationship with a marriage on top of it. You spend so much time with those people, not just the guys in the band, but management and crew. All these other things can come into it."
"I think the reason Silverchair has had such good longevity is because we've been able to recognise when we all need to take a breather and go and do other things. The funny thing is, we've done it three or four times and every single time people say, 'What's happening, where you are going?'. We've done this before, and it's nothing new."
"There's nothing worse than breaking up and deciding that all we really needed was time, then coming back to it and saying we're reforming. It's much better to say we're taking a breather and you come back and nothing's changed. We don't want to do a (John) Farnham 'final tour' several times. That's a genius move though, you've gotta admit."
And on to Bento and selecting musicians to work on his new baby.
"We were in the studio in Sydney and the producer and I would clunk away on different instruments. We'd just get on the phone, if we were working on something and thought it's needed a nice piano part or whatever it was we'd call friends and it was whoever was close by. Whoever was within 10 minutes of the studio, they would come in. Out of that we actually got three guys who became pretty stable throughout the record. And they helped mesh the whole thing together."
"It is a new project and I can't assume that Silverchair fans are automatically going to come to Bento. I just have to get beyond that and make other people aware of it. This is the first step in many, I have to keep making music and getting it out there. They way the music industry is these day, you really have to have that social media stuff in people's faces. And videos and photos. I love that stuff. It's so much fun. As long as you make it fun, I think people can connect to that and feel like they can have involvement and see behind the scenes."
"I've always said creativity breeds creativity. The more you do it, the more ideas you get, and the more it snowballs. I've already got 20 songs ready for another record and I keep calling my manager and saying 'I've got this whole new concept for another record and it's going to be great and we can do this...' and she just laughs and says, 'OK, just slow down!"
Success on the scale of that enjoyed by Silverchair over the last 20 years should mean that Ben Gillies could choose to live anywhere in the world, yet he remains based in Newcastle (as Daniel Johns often does, too).
" I think Novocastrians all know it's a pretty special place. I've had some Sydney friends who have moved here purely out of necessity and after six months, they'll be like, 'I had no idea how good this place is!' and I say, 'What do you think I tell all my friends?!'. Its feels like (Newcastle) it's connected enough to the world, it's two hours to Sydney but it's just out of the way enough that it's quiet and you can relax."
Will Ben Gillies be delivering another Bento album?
"I think it will go off on a different tangent. It will still Bento, Bento is my baby. It will be a bento box but different, it might not be sushi, it might be a tuna sandwich!"
Jeff Martin - The Tea Party/The Armada 2011

Jeff Martin - The Tea Party/The Armada 2011

January 10, 2018

Jeff Martin and band – The Armada
Social media makes the world smaller.  And it makes my life richer.  Because I have conversations (sometimes only in 140 characters!) with people from around the world who are generous, warm people who share the stories of their lives – the happy, the sad, the fabulous, the rare, the raunchy – you name it.  Ordinary people with ordinary stories, just like you and me.  Somehow the twitterverse led me to @abhijitmajumder who is the editor of an Indian tabloid newspaper.  Let me say right here that I’m not at all sure Abhijit’s newspaper and I have very much in common at all, and while I don’t actually know him, I suspect he’s quite different to his newspaper’s target audience.  In the best possible ways.
Within minutes of Julia Gillard becoming Australia’s 27th Prime Minister, Abhijit sent me a note on Twitter asking what I thought a change of PM might mean for Indian/Australian relationships, particularly in light of the highly-publicised ‘race attacks’ on Indian students in Victoria.  To be honest, I have no idea, I suspect essentially the relationship is a very good one and I don’t see much changing at all.  International student education has been one of the biggest contributors to the Australian economy over the last few years.  Third largest, actually.  Behind coal, then iron ore.  Education of students from overseas.  Huge, huh?!  My considered opinion, and that of Indian friends in  Australia, is that it is not what it seems and has been heavily misrepresented by Indian media.  My note of caution, though, is that perception is often reality.  If I was a parent in India, how would I feel about sending my child to Australia?  Food for thought.
I assured Abhijit that the vast majority of Australians aren’t racist and are appalled by the perception that we are and disgusted by the tiny minority who somehow manage to have all of us tarred with the ‘racist’ brush.  I mentioned Vindaloo Against Violence in February this year, the idea of a young woman in Melbourne.  It was a day of ‘solidarity’ where Australians were encouraged simply to spend the evening in their local Indian restaurant.  Naïve, yes, but simple, elegant, meaningful for those who took part, even if it does seem a bit naff.  Abhijit suggested I write about it for his paper.  I’m still thinking about the pros and cons of that, we’ll see, but to be honest I’m still struggling with it.  It seems such a simply thing to do.  I write.  But.
My problem with writing about it is that it would go to an Indian readership that is still hearing about ‘honour killings’ on a daily basis or the Bharat Bandh (a day of general strike action by the community to complain about sharply rising prices, etc) which involved a level of violence and disruption that we don’t see here, and wouldn’t tolerate.  So at the moment I’m battling with telling the VaV story in the light of activities in India that disturb me greatly.  They’re nothing new, but I need to find a way to hose down my gut reaction of ‘Hang on!  You’re still killing women who marry outside their caste?’  I don’t know.  Maybe this will be the story I can’t actually find the words for?  I’m wondering if the angle needs to be … if I was an Indian woman I’d have ‘given cause’ numerous times by now.  I dragged a friend into the conversation on Twitter and Abhijit responded, “Feel ashamed to describe it. Honour killings are murders of young lovers who have married across caste. Barbaric.”
” … murders of young lovers …”
Oh my heart.
I sent Abhijit a song written by Jeff Martin, formerly of The Tea Party.  The song is called ‘Morocco’ and it is about the honour killings of women in the Middle East.  Different location, same tragedy.  Jeff and I talked about it during one of his visits to my studio and I asked him how he came to write about something as dark and horrific as an honour killing.  “It’s a song inspired by an article I saw in the Sunday Times in England about young women from the Muslim world – honour killings – it’s just a travesty that these things still happen in this day and age when we’re supposed to be civilised. “
I suggest that this is dark material to visit for a song, “It’s necessary.  Things like these travesties that occur, and the fact that we’re supposed to be an evolved species on this planet.  That people can take these beautiful books of love that were created centuries ago and manipulate them and twist them into these things that are basically dripping with hatred and oppression.  I can’t stand parameters being put around the soul of a human ‘becoming’, so at any point where that faces me, it will probably come through in my music.”
Jeff Martin is a father, his little boy Django is just a couple of years younger than mine, how will he explain issues like this, different beliefs,  to his son in the years to come?  “Extremism is everywhere.  You find it in the Christian religion, the Muslim religion, you find it everywhere.  The only thing we can do with those that come after us is teach tolerance.”  Is this one of the gifts of his music, an entree into other cultures, other people, other loves?  “Absolutely.  That’s one of the reasons I travel so much.  I spent a couple of months in Egypt travelling back and forth between Aswan and Luxor.  I met a particular family in Luxor – they had nothing as far as western pleasures are concerned, but they wanted to share everything with me.  I stayed in their home, it was such a beautiful experience with beautiful people.”
We have so much to offer each other, and to learn from each other.  When are we going to be brave enough to embrace it?
Here’s Jeff’s song, Morocco, recorded live in my studio last year.  Enjoy.
Malcolm Turnbull NBN 2013

Malcolm Turnbull NBN 2013

January 10, 2018
Malcolm Turnbull has been in Newcastle to deliver the annual Barton Lecture at the University of Newcastle. 1233's Carol Duncan spoke with him at length about the National Broadband Network, Tony Abbott, same-sex marriage and leadership.

Malcolm Turnbull and Carol Duncan
Malcolm Turnbull and Carol Duncan in the 1233 studios. If you want to know why Malcolm is holding a pomegranate, you will have to listen to the interview. (ABC Local:)
On the eve of Malcolm Turnbull's visit to Newcastle, the New Zealand parliament voted to redefine marriage as a union between two people, becoming the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to do so.
CAROL DUNCAN: Why do we still not have this right for Australians?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: We can (do this here) but as you know the parliament considered the matter last year and voted against it. But it's open to coming back again.
There is certainly much more rapid change in this area than many of us, including myself, had anticipated. In addition to New Zealand legislating, the UK is in the process of doing so, France has done so, there are now I believe 10 US states where gay marriage is legal so the trend is only going one way. I think the changes in New Zealand and the UK are going to have a very big impact (on same sex marriage legislation in Australia).
If you go back to the 1850s when there was a case in England called Hyde v Hyde in which a judge gave what became the classic definition of marriage for a long time which is a permanent union between a man and a woman. He did so on the basis that this was what was accepted in what he described as 'all of Christendom'. We wouldn't use that term any more but if you were sitting in a court in London or anywhere else today and you had to ask yourself 'what is the accepted definition of a marriage in the western world, or in countries of a dominant Christian tradition, however you wanted to define it, you certainly couldn't say it is a permanent union betwewen a man and a woman because there are so many of those countries, very substantial and important countries, which recognise gay marriage, so there has been a big change.
I would have said this was going to take a long time but I think it will happen sooner rather than later. It will become increasingly difficult for Australia to maintain opposition to arrangements which are accepted in countries with which we are so close, which we have so many people going to and from, so many people coming here from New Zealand. I think there has been a big seachange in this and it's happened incredibly rapidly, within the space of a couple of years."
CAROL DUNCAN: It is often suggested that you don't actually believe in the policy on broadband that you are having to present for the coalition, or that you don't really believe it is the best option for Australians.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: It is, I have absolutely no doubt about it. If I wasn't a politician, if I was back in my old job in the business world and the government, any government, asked me to advise on what the best course of action would be, I would describe exactly what our policy is because you get the right balance between the level of investment, affordability - being able to price the internet access at a price that people can afford, and speed, giving people the services that they need. So I think we've got the balance right."
The problem with Labor's scheme, let's be quite frank about this, Labor has said they're going to run fibre optic cable into 93% of Australian households. We criticised it as being too expensive. We actually think this project will cost $94bn, taking a very long time, it's running way behind schedule. After four years they've got less than 20,000 people connected to the fibre and they'll be lucky by June 30 to meet 15% of their targets.
CAROL DUNCAN: In 2003, Telstra executives told a Senate inquiry that the copper network had to be replaced, that it was 'five minutes to midnight' for the copper network. Should we be relying on the copper network at all for such a massive piece of infrastructure?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: You've got to remember that under our scheme we are replacing almost all of the copper. The only copper that would remain in the customer access network is the last four or five hundred metres to the premise, and the reason for not replacing that is that as long as it is in good condition, as long as the length is short, you can deliver very high speed broadband - up to 100 Mbps - so you can deliver very high speed broadband, certainly more than fast enough for what people want and what people value, but you save a gigantic amount.
The depressing thing about these networks is that it's really the last mile, it's actually less than a mile, that costs all the money because it's so labour intensive.
CAROL DUNCAN: What about those areas where the existing copper network, in some cases up to 100 years old, will not be good enough for the job?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: If that's the case, your area would be a candidate for either having that copper remediated at the time of the build, and we've taken account of that in our policy, or if you've got areas that have got endemic problems in terms of maintenance and water penetration then you may replace them with fibre and do so now.
So you just have to be pragmatic and practical about it but the changes are literally, you're talking about saving $60bn."
CAROL DUNCAN: In January 2013, Bloomberg's list of international internet speeds indicated that large parts of the world are already accessing speeds faster than 25Mbps, so is cutting the fibre at the node to save money now simply a false economy if over the longer term we have to continue to make very large investments in the very near future to upgrade the coalition's alternative NBN?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: No, I don't believe you'll need upgrades in the very near future.
Most people will get by 2016 on the fixed line upgraded network 50Mbps or better. We've said 25 Mbps is the minimum, that is the direction that we will give NBNCo as the minimum, so they have to do it on the basis that nobody gets less than that.
Our goal, and our direction to NBNCo will be that by 2019 to ensure that at least 90% of the people on that network have not less than 50Mbps.
CAROL DUNCAN: Singapore offers a download speed of about 50Mbps on average, Japan is rolling out a 1Gigabit (1000Mbps) network ...
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Which is useless by the way, for a residential customer, it's a marketing gimmick.
CAROL DUNCAN: Should we be building two networks, one for industry and research, the other for domestic users or simply investing one big network to cater for all needs?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: If your question is 'should you be providing higher rates of bandwidth to industry and research and businesses than you do to residential consumers' the answer is obviously yes, because they've got market for it.
You can spend a gigantic amount of money, $94bn, and connect every cottage, every flat and every townhouse in Australia to a fibre optic cable that's capable of running at 100 Mbps or ultimately at 1Gb, the vast majority of those customers have no use for, no value for and will not pay you for those very high speed services. So you're making a gigantic investment upon which you can get no return and as a consequence you end up having to charge people a lot more.
You've got to remember that under Labor's plan, this is not my figure, this is what they have said in their own documents given to the ACCC and their own corporate plan 'wholesale prices will treble over the next 10 years for broadband access'. Now they've (prices) been coming down for the last 10 years and it's no wonder they'll go up because if you're investing so much money in the network then you've got to get a return on it.
"I think a very important thing to bear in mind is that we've got to be practical and hard-headed about this. This is serious money. We're talking about all the other infrastructure investments we need to make in Australia. The great virtue of telecoms networks is that, unlike a bridge, you can expand them incrementally, bit by bit."
CAORL DUNCAN: Could it be expected that to delay the full roll out of fibre will increase future cost of completing the equivalent work as designed into the government's NBN? We often see major cost blow-outs with delays in major infrastructure construction across the country.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Let's assume that we can spend $900 on average to get a premise up to the most part 50Mbps but no-one less than 25Mbps, and we can do that now. And let's assume it's going to take us the best part of another $3,000 to get them up to 100Mbps and up to 1Gb with FTTP, but let's assume that there's not going to be any demand for that very high speed in those residential areas for, say, 10 years, I'm saying you would be better off postponing that investment, keeping that extra $3,000 in your pocket, earning a return on it somewhere else or not having to borrow it, and then when the demand is there making the investment then. It's just labour costs, labour costs will rise with the price of inflation but so will everything else.
But the big difference is if you build a bridge you cannot build a bridge with demand just 10 years ahead because you can't just keep adding lanes every 10 years. You've got to think ahead 30, 40, 50 years.
With a telecoms network, you've got the ability to build it for now and the foreseeable future, and you've got the ability to upgrade it progressively over time as demands change, and you don't really know what the demand's going to be, and above all as technologies develop. And so while postponing investment until it's needed may seem a bit hard-headed and sounding too much like a canny accountant than a visionary politician, it actually makes great sense because if you postpone that investment until it's needed the opportunity cost on the money that you haven't invested and that would have earned no return in that time, so you've got your investment in your pocket or doing something else, but also when you do come to invest you're using the latest technology and that's a powerful argument to take a more steady and businesslike approach to it."
All politicians are susceptible to grand gestures, but this is a case where you can actually be heard-headed, pragmatic, make the network affordable for both the taxpayer and the consumer and have the advantage of the best technology when you need it.
CAROL DUNCAN: Why do you think that a lot of social media commentators suggest that you don't actually believe in the broadband policy that you are having to sell as Shadow Communications Minister?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: I have no idea. I think they're transferring their own views to me.
I can assure you that I do (believe in the coalition broadband policy).
I've been involved in the internet in Australia since it really got going, I was one of the co-founders of Ozemail. I'm digitally connected, I'm online a lot, I'm not a luddite, but I'm just saying to you that you can achieve everything you want to do, get everybody online quickly and affordably, I mean remember this - people in the bottom 20% of incomes are nine times less likely to be online than people in the top 20%."
CAROL DUNCAN: Can those in the bottom 20%, however, afford the $5,000 being suggested to connect to the coalition's alternative NBN?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: No, you don't need a fibre optic cable. This is the great fallacy you are labouring under is the notion that to have access to the digital economy you need to have a fibre optic cable into your house. It doesn't matter what the technology is as long as you have the speed that enables you to do all the things you want to do."
Now, you talk about 25Mbps, and I say that as a minimum, with 25 Mbps you can stream, download simultaneously four high-definition video streams. That is a lot. You can do all of your e-commerce, all of your tele-conferencing ...
CAROL DUNCAN: But there's been a television released this week that requires greater speeds than that.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: The real issue is, are people prepared to pay for it. Are they prepared to pay for that investment.
The answer is that you will never get a return, at least I don't believe, I cannot foresee a time when you can get a return from residential consumers for those very very high speeds. If I'm wrong, and it doesn't matter whether I'm right or wrong, because the flexibility is in the network.
We will build it so it is capable of being upgraded to FTTP as and when demand requires it."
CAROL DUNCAN: Do you believe there is a perception that women don't like Tony Abbott very much, that women aren't comfortable with him.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: I'm not sure that's right. I think that's something that's asserted and I know one woman who doesn't like him very much - that's his opponent the Prime Minister - but you look at Tony, I mean there he is, he's got two lovely daughters and he's got his wife and he works with plenty of women in his office.
The proposition that Tony Abbott is a misogynist I think is just wrong. You can make a lot of other points about him but the idea that he is a woman-hater is just nonsense.
CAROL DUNCAN: I often see comments about the September federal election along these lines, "I wouldn't vote for the Liberal Party under Tony Abbott, but I would vote for it under Malcolm Turnbull."
MALCOLM TURNBULL: That's very flattering and I'll always accept a compliment, you don't get a lot in politics. All I can say is that I am part of the Coalition collective leadership team. We are not electing a President. Tony Abbott is the leader, he will be Prime Minister if we win.
CAROL DUNCAN: For better or worse a lot of Australians do actually vote on personality.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Yes but there is more than one personality in a government and there is more than one personality in an opposition, too, and so we are a team.
So you might prefer Malcolm Turnbull to Tony Abbott or you might prefer Tony Abbott to Joe Hockey or Julie Bishop to all of us, but the fact is that we're all part of that group. We're a package deal.
So all I can say to those people who say 'I'd rather have Malcolm Turnbull than Tony Abbott' is thank you, very much for that generous sentiment but I'd still urge you to vote Liberal because I will be there. I am part of the leadership team and it is a collective leadership team."
CAROL DUNCAN: So for those people who aren't comfortable with Tony (Abbott) you'll be there to rein him and make him behave in the ways that perhaps they wish?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well I'm not sure what they want me to rein him in on? When you ask people about that they keep on talking about his swimming attire. I don't know that that's my responsibility.
CAROL DUNCAN: Are people perhaps concerned that his obviously strong faith will interfere with his policy-making decisions?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, I don't think there's any evidence for that. He's a very practical person. He recognises the Liberal party and indeed Australia is a very broad, diverse community.
We use the expression 'a broad church' not to express that we're all religious but that there's a wide range of views, and as the leader you've got to accommodate all of those views and I sought to do that when I was leader.
CAROL DUNCAN: There are lots of points that you two differ on, how hard is that?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well we differ famously on the question of the republic but that is, in effect, a free vote issue in the Liberal party so there are plenty of Liberals who think we should be a republic, Peter Costello comes to mind, but there are plenty that don't - John Howard and Tony Abbott are staunch monarchists so the Liberal party survives notwithstanding differences of opinion.
We have a common purpose in restoring capable, competent government that seeks to enable people to do their best rather than telling them what is best. So we've got a philosophy of government but we don't agree on every issue.
Catherine Britt 2008

Catherine Britt 2008

January 10, 2018
In this conversation with Carol Duncan, Catherine Britt talks about the pressures of growing up under the spotlight, life in the country music capital of the world, and 'growing up on 1233 ABC Newcastle'.
After being plucked from obscurity as a 17-year-old by Sir Elton John, which led to a duet and a record deal in the United States, Catherine Britt spent six years growing up in Nashville.
But after a difficult time personally the Newcastle-born country music entertainer has spent the last year at home, re-evaluating her life and her career.
In this conversation with Carol Duncan, Catherine Britt talks about the pressures of growing up under the spotlight, life in the country music capital of the world, and 'growing up on 1233 ABC Newcastle'.
Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App