Posted: 8:58 am on 4th November 2013

TeleWorkEver heard of National Telework Week?

No, neither had WasteWatch. Until today.

Apparently, telework is where a person works from a place other than an office, and uses technology to stay in touch with the office. The technology can range from phone calls, to Skype, to formal videoconferencing.

So remember that bloke at your local cafe who monopolises an entire 6-person table with his laptop and manila folders, loudly answers his phone just as you sit down with your hot coffee and new book, and badgers the cafe staff for the password to their Wi-Fi network? He’s teleworking.

It seems the Gillard Labor Government spent a bunch of your money on a week of teleworking events last year, including a ‘Google+ hangout’ with various tech-world mandarins, and several telework workshops.

It also turns out that National Telework Week, or NTW, as it’s affectionately known amongst TLA fans, was essentially an extended advertisement for Labor’s NBN.

Indeed, the NTW website claims:

The pending rollout of the NBN will be a key enabler for telework as high-definition interactive environments between the traditional workplace and a teleworker’s location of choice become a reality.

David Braue over at ZDNet writes that National Telework Week 2012 was:

an entirely theoretical construct that was kicked off with a flurry of high-profile cheerleading, and which eventually tapered off into oblivion.

Unfortunately for Mr Braue, and the Australian taxpayer, National Telework Work hasn’t tapered off into total oblivion.

The new Department of Communications, formerly the Department for Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy, has a $120,000 contract with a Canberran public relations company, to prepare for National Telework Week 2013!

So despite the mass resignations from the NBN Co board last month, and despite the Coalition’s well-known opposition to the Labor version of the NBN, the Australian taxpayer gets to foot the bill for another week of extended advertisements!

WasteWatch looks forward to the day when NTW finally does taper off into oblivion.

William Shrubb, Research Assistant, WasteWatch

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