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Malcolm Turnbull: the copper king

By Andrena Jones

About six months ago I got the notion that there was no good reason why Malcolm Turnbull should have gone with copper for our NBN. So I proceeded to look into the companies involved in Turnbull’s NBN to see if the money trail lead back to Turnbull.

First of all I identified the major supplier of the infamous copper wiring, which will need replacement every few years. That company is the Italian owned company Prysmian.

Next I very simply googled ‘Turnbull investments’. In 2015 he opened an investment portfolio with the US Wall Street outfit Vanguard Group, a company which specializes in technology investment. After about 30 seconds I found Prysmian listed as one of their companies. Even if Turnbull has no knowledge of the companies Vanguard has put his money into, if he’s making any returns at all from Prysmian surely it could be a conflict of interest at the very least. Considering the negative impact the inferior technology is having on Australian productivity, and the Australian people, it raises questions. Just as speculation, might this explain why Turnbull, under Abbott, went with copper because, as it needs to be periodically replaced, it offers an ongoing return on investment?

It took me all of ten minutes to research this. Below are the links I found. It’s all out there in black and white. Turnbull has appeared to be incredibly brazen/arrogant about this. You would think that a politician with any political savvy or integrity would have stayed away from Vanguard with its connection to Prysmian. He would know this, you would think. He’s a lawyer. I can’t help but feel that Turnbull believes Australians are incredibly ignorant.

I don’t know much about parliamentary law but can’t help compare this with last week’s much flimsier LNP scandal involving David Gillespie, so I suspect Turnbull is well and truly aware of any potential to break the law. Should he not avoid the perception that he is quite possibly making money by putting Australia at the back of the technology pack, and I’m sure costing Australian businesses plenty in productivity, as well as pissing off anyone who has to use our incredibly slow internet.

We would all hope that our Prime Minister is not profiting from the dodgy NBN. That would be incredibly shameful for the country. However I do feel that this should be investigated.



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  1. Bronte ALLAN

    Great comments Andrea! I had wondered myself as to why Talkbull & Rabbit had seemed hell-bent on ensuring copper was used for our NBN. I first thought that they chose it just because the Labor mob was going to go with FTTN, but now, it seems it is because Talkbull has investments in the copper supply company–what a bloody coincidence, NOT!! So, as you say, we will now be regularly having to “up-date” the copper wiring, just think of the “benefits” for Talkbull with that! BASTARD!!

  2. Graeme Henchel

    Mr. Fraudband ( to the tune of Mr Sandman)

    Mr. Fraudband you’ve screwed our dream
    Made the biggest mess that we’ve ever seen
    You lied with Abbott to get elected
    Made sure that Murdochs pay TV was protected

    Fraud man you’re Abbott’s clone
    Don’t have a vision to call your own
    What you’ve done is quite obscene
    Mr Fraudband you’ve screwed our dream

    Mr Fraudband you’ve screwed our dream
    Made the biggest mess that we’ve ever seen
    We wanted fibre right into the home
    We’ve got a nightmare from the twilight zone

    Mr Fraudband now you’re in charge
    You’ll screw your party and the country at large
    You only care about the top end of town
    You are no better than the clown you took down

    Mr. Fraudband you’ve been exposed
    A snake oil man with political prose
    Your lying makes me want to scream
    Mr. Fraudband screwed us (it’s so exciting)
    Mr. Fraudband screwed up our dream

  3. Blair

    Indirect pecuniary interest anyone?

  4. Jaquix

    Good work by the author! I bet Malcolm would just claim that he doesnt know what investments he holds in the Caymans. He would definitely slither out of any honest answer.

  5. Matters Not

    Vanguard is one of the biggest investment companies in the world, with branches in many, many countries. Australia is but one example. It offers a wide range of investment products – technology is but one example. Vanguard (Australia) is quite popular with superannuation funds because of its low fees.

    It’s a bit of a stretch to draw the conclusions that you do.

  6. Keitha Granville

    He should divest immediately if not sooner

  7. guest

    Matters Not, “a bit of a stretch”?

    It is a stretch worth making, even if Vanguard (Australia) is part of one of those megalopolies which own almost everything there is to own.

    But just joining the dots leads us from Turnbull’s NBN copper to Prysmian and Turnbull investments.

    It might mean nothing at all, but when we look at those who have investments in coal, we are not surprised. And then there are the US politicians and friends who have vested interests in the Iraq War and its consequences. Stretchy stretchy and squeezy squeezy.

  8. Matters Not

    guest, Vanguard invests on behalf of ‘others’. For example, here in Australia, Vanguard in its High Yield Fund has 39.7% of its funds in the Financial sector; 21.7% in Consumer Services; 18.6% in Industrials; 8.6% in Telecommunications; 5.8% in Oil & Gas; 4.1% in Utilities; 0.8% in Consumer Goods and 0.7% in Health Care.

    It mirrors the ‘index’. Turnbull, if he was in this fund could be seen to have a conflict of interest – regardless of what he did.

    If you want to join these dollar dots you can go anywhere you like. But it’s a journey without insight. Fact is Turnbull invests a lot in Fibre and does so across the world. he’s a savvy investor and spreads his money around. He knows copper is stuffed in the longer term.

  9. Matters Not

    guest note also from the link provided in this article:

    Vanguard ITF holds in its top 10 investments major US tech players including Google owner Alphabet Inc, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Inc, Microsoft, Apple, Visa, Mastercard and Cisco Systems


    Copper is not a major concern of Vanguard ITF. The ‘copper’ links to Turnbull are fanciful.

  10. Joe

    Matters not, Yes all coincidental isn’t it. The timing, his investments in companies that he is profiting from that also do business with his government. He should not have ANY financial investments whilst he is in Government. Yes that is correct. He should divest all his portfolio. If he wants to perform a public service then he should not be able to profit, directly or indirectly. I think that’s what Sec 44 means. The links are not fanciful, whether you like it or not. They are there

  11. stephengb2014

    Glad this story made it to AIMN.

    Now I am going to make a premonition.

    Nothing NOTHING will come of it!

    S G B

  12. guest

    Thank you, Matters Not. Yes, I can see that copper is not of concern to Vanguard, but it is for us in Oz.

    So, with umpteen world-wide companies dealing with everything that can be dealt, it is easy to see why the top 1% of the wealthy own half the wealth of the world.

    So we could start with the arms dealers, with the USA at the top, Russia, Germany, France, UK, China…or the oil people such as Halliburton …and suppliers of commodities…or security services etc,…just in war zones alone.

    Then we have companies such as Adani whose money trail is untrackable…

    All of which conspicuous wealth is a travesty when significant parts of the world’s population is starving or being blown into oblivion. All that money…for what?

    And Turnbull duds the NBN into a half-baked replica of what it could be.

    So also Gonski 2.0, a cheap version to reduce the debt by 2021 (that great big debt that was going to leave future generations paying it off). Garbage.

  13. Matters Not

    Yes guest, the copper used in the NBN is of concern – because there’s too much copper and not enough fibre. That’s the big mistake. (Not that copper in itself still won’t have many, many uses in the future. Clearly it will. But not when fibre can substitute.)

    Re Joe. Please explain how Turnbull should behave. Here’s what he now does.

    stephengb2014 re Nothing NOTHING will come of it! . Yep. What are you suggesting should come of it? Perhaps he should get out of copper and get into fibre? What?

    BTW guest the 1% own more than the 50% – depending on what source you link to.

  14. Maureen

    Great research Andrea. Thank you!

  15. Peter F

    I believe that the main question to be researched is the link between a slower, less reliable NBN, and the challenge that a better NBN poses to FOXTEL. This is more sinister than a few shares in some investment company.

  16. billie11

    Remember Turnbull also invests in French and Italian companies installing NBN fibre to the home

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