#730report

Already at the back of the discount rack

Former Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull’s memoirs are already on sale less than a week after the hyped launch. Retailer Big W has cut the price from $55 to $29. Booktopia has cut prices too. And Dymocks. And QBD Books. And Amazon.

If Turnbull wanted to leave a legacy of a true statesman he honestly believes he is, he wouldn’t have resorted to documenting slanderous affairs between Tony Abbott and his senior staffer Peta Credlin or accused so many of his supposed close confidants of treachery that ultimately led to his downfall. Had he truly carried all of the hallmarks of the leader he aspired to be and trumpeted he was, the party would have united behind him and the inner factions would have displayed unwavering loyalty. Period. The fact that they didn’t is a reflection on him, not them.

Sadly it was all about Malcolm.

It was no longer called the Coalition which was founded in 1923. He rebranded it the ‘The Turnbull Coalition Team‘.

He was the only conservative party leader we can think of in any country who avoided conservative media platforms like the plague. Instead, he bathed in the adoration of the left-wing mainstream press including The Guardian and ABC where he got overwhelmingly favourable coverage.

A true leader should have been able to comfortably dismantle the flawed arguments held by lunatic ‘Murdoch’ media stooges to their faces and in the process defined the desirable qualities of strength and character to the public. He didn’t. Instead, Turnbull just blamed them for being mean to him.

The CEO of any business knows the top job carries awesome responsibilities before taking it on but are also aware that leadership defines them, especially during crises. Turnbull’s leadership style defined him. Dumped by his party twice for not showing it.

Turnbull lacked judgement. He signed a refugee deal with Obama, weeks before Trump was due to take office. Hardly a great way to start a relationship with an incoming president, made worse by making no preparation for his possible victory complicated by the need to call on former Aussie golf professional Greg Norman to get Trump’s number.

His defining legacy will perhaps turn out to be one of the biggest white elephants in Australian history – the now $250 billion submarine contract with the French. His thought bubble on giving income taxing powers from the federal government to the states before quickly walking back those comments. The Snowy Hydro 2.0 joke. Weighing in on the bushfire crisis to score shots on the man that took his job.

Turnbull had the assistance of his progeny to abuse his enemies on Twitter. FNF Media was even blocked by his son Alex, which we wear as a badge of honour.

In the success camp, Turnbull secured exemptions from US steel tariffs. He can also lay claim to the introduction of same-sex marriage legislation.  And saying no to the UNHCR which wanted to conduct a special investigation of Israel.

In closing, Turnbull’s TV interview on ABC’s 730 Report this week only added proof to why he no longer occupies The Lodge.

Legitimate question or ABC soul searching?

This must be the most bitter pill for ABC Melbourne to swallow. In what seems to be a legitimate question to the audience, the reality is it smacks more of the taxpayer-funded corporation’s self-reflection that cuts are on the way. The ABC must be in a funereal mood. When its own MD speaks about not voting for the Coalition if taxpayers want to save the ABC, it is clear where the bias lies.

We don’t need to look very far for evidence. Whether the use of ABC Kids to talk of white privilege or calling conservative politicians c*nts. The ABC even found enough petty cash to hire Clementine Ford who proudly deals in profanity. The programming promotes all of the left’s key agendas – global warming, identity politics, class warfare and no diversity of thought. Hard left journalist Fran Kelly even sang a song bagging out the Liberal Party when Turnbull’s seat flipped to Kerryn Phelps.

PM Scott Morrison should move to hammer the ABC due to its unquestionable bias. Its inefficiency is beyond comprehension.

Since 2008, the average salary and benefits of ABC’s staff have risen 23% from $86,908 to $106,284. Total staff numbers have risen from 4,499 to 4,939 in 2018. Therefore salaries as a percentage of the ABC revenues have risen from 37.9% of the budget to over 50%. How can this be? Why should taxpayers be forking out more cash when it is not allocated wisely? Morrison’s government is right to cut $84mn from the budget.

The multicultural SBS has seen its budget grow from A$259mn in 2008 to A$398mn in 2018. SBS staff numbers have grown from 844 to 1,453 over the same period with average salaries rising from A$82,689 to A$94,010 or +13.7%. Which begs the question why is the SBS able to operate at 34.3% of the budget in salaries while the ABC is at 50%? Surely the ABC’s economies of scale should work in its favour? Clearly not.

On a global basis, the BBC generates GBP 4.954bn and employs 21,000 staff. 22.7% of those revenues are spent on salaries. Average salaries have grown 17% since 2007/8. The average income per employee at the BBC is now GBP236,852 (A$428,000) thanks to the generous mandatory licensing fees. Average salaries at the Beeb are now GBP 55,651 ($A100,728).

The ABC conducted its second Corporation-wide employee engagement survey in late 2017. The previous survey was conducted in November 2015, with outcomes reported in the 2016 Annual Report.

The overall employee engagement score from the 2017 survey was 46%, down six points from the 2015 results. 6% down!!!!

This moved the ABC from the median to the bottom quartile when benchmarked with other Australian and New Zealand organisations. Bottom quartile!!! 

Employees expressed the need for improvement in several areas, including:

• that the ABC Leadership Team needs to be more visible, accessible and communicate more openly.

 that the ABC needs to do a better job of managing poor performance. Even the staff want to move duds on. A commercial spirit among the staff?

• that employees want to know what action is being taken to address feedback received in the survey.

The ABC management (no longer with us) conducted sessions on the back of the survey.

Three key priorities were identified from these sessions:

1. The way in which the ABC recruits, contracts, inducts, develops and manages its people needs a huge amount of work. Inefficiency!!!

2. More communication is needed between teams – employees want to know what other teams are doing, and want less top-down, hierarchical communication. Bureaucracy!!!

3. Many of the ABC’s processes, tools and technology don’t work effectively for its people. Obsolescence!!!

So instead of giving the ABC more money, perhaps an efficiency drive driven by a change manager could achieve the same outcomes desired by the market for far less cost. This reads like an organization that has too much fat.

To that effect, the annual report also noted:

Bureaucracy Stop was launched in March 2018 with the aim of creating a working environment with less bureaucracy and red tape. The program wrapped three months later with 147 ideas on simplification of processes, 55 of which were resolved by the end of the financial year.Where a simplification solution wasn’t available in response to an idea, an explanation was provided as to why that process needed to remain.

What were the dollar savings for these 55 improvements?

Of course the ABC can’t tell us!

Despite the ABC not having one journalist who took the side of a potential Coalition win, they may well ask how their bias couldn’t drag Labor across the line? Maybe it’s the product. Time for Morrison to appoint proper crisis managers inside the group to make it efficient.