Feeds

Safety first, NBN rollout second, says Minister

Telstra Board to consider plan for safe return to asbestos pits

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Get ready for another eruption of “anything bad to do with the NBN is the government's fault”, as Telstra's Board is reportedly about to consider whether it is safe to allow contractors doing NBN Co's bidding to resume work in its asbestos-lined pits.

Minister for Workplace Relations Bill Shorten has issued a canned statement in which he said “it was agreed by all members of the independent Asbestos Taskforce that safe resumption of work on telecommunications pits was a key priority.”

One of the members of the Taskforce is Telstra. Comcare, the agency with responsibility for workplace safety, has signed off on the carrier's asbestos-remediation plans. Shorten says those will now before Telstra's board before being implemented.

There's no timetable on how long that will take, nor on how long it will take for the fourteen monitors being recruited to inspect work on telecoms pits containing what have come to be known as “asbestos-containing materials (ACMs)”.

Shorten's subtext is that asbestos is very, very nasty stuff and it is better to make haste slowly than to put even a single worker at risk.

That's a point one hopes is not ignored if, as can be expected, delays in getting safety protocols just right means NBN Co is not able to meet previously-published schedules. Will Malcolm Turnbull be able to resist politicising a delay? The Shadow Comms minister has been quiet of late, at least in terms of prosecuting his core portfolio issues. Perhaps he's realised that if Telstra is only now conducting a thorough audit of asbestos in its network, his alternative policy may have problems too. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.