Back in March when I had Dr Phil Burgess, Telstra’s Group Managing Director, Public Policy and Communication, on the show, he tried to portray Telstra as Darryl Kerrigan, Michael Caton’s character from the 1997 film “The Castle“. The suggestion was that Telstra was just the poor common man getting beaten up by the big, bad Government.

This is a meme Phil’s been repeating recently and which forms the moral center of their court case again Communications Minister Helen Coonan over the OPEL deal.

That is, until today.

Unfortunately for Telstra, their PR shield has been smashed by documents dating back to June 2006 which suggest that losing the bid for the Government broadband extension program, and then challenging the lost bid in court, was always part of their strategy (link). Telstra’s strategy documents suggest using the court action to delay the new broadband roll-out until after the upcoming federal election and the expected change of Government, at which time they expect a better hearing than they get under Howard.

No mention of this, of course, on Telstra’s Now We Are Talking blog as far as I can see.

So it seems to me that Telstra might be wasting taxpayer’s money by forcing the Government to defend their decision to award the broadband contract to OPEL when Telstra had no intention of winning it in the first place. They are playing the same old Telstra bully-boy games they have played forever. Despite what Phil and Sol say about “under new management”, it’s the same old dirty Telstra bag of tricks, costing the country money and delaying the roll-out of much-needed broadband.

What do you think?