Another politician gives himself an upper cut.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has declared he has “unfettered legal power” over telecommunications regulation, including the ability to request Australian telcos “wear red underpants on their head”.
The bizarre comments were made by Senator Conroy at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information conference in New York last Monday, and were reported by communications publication CommsDay yesterday.
The comments were made in the context of Senator Conroy arguing against a proposal by the International Telecommunications Union that could push up the price of broadband in Australia. The proposal could see telcos charged more for international submarine cable access, the costs of which could ultimately be passed onto consumers and push up the price of broadband.
Senator Conroy told the conference: “The regulation of telecommunications powers in Australia is exclusively federal. That means I am in charge of spectrum auctions, and if I say to everyone in this room ‘if you want to bid in our spectrum auction you’d better wear red underpants on your head’, I’ve got some news for you. You’ll be wearing them on your head … I have unfettered legal power.”
That’s what you get when you put an ex-unionist in a position of power.