We’re on holidays in Canberra. So I visited Telecom Tower… so now I am here to vent. (Don’t laugh. I knew it was big in the bicentennial and is well past its prime — I just thought that, being a beacon of technology, it would have been updated).
It wasn’t just the way that no one had cleaned the outside since I visited 27 years ago. It wasn’t that the restaurant had stopped revolving two years ago and no one bothered fixing it. It wasn’t that the unattended theatrette played a video unchanged since the tower’s opening in 1980 that even ended with the Telecom logo. It wasn’t that the lobby felt like that of an abandoned conference centre. It wasn’t that the place was so empty that I wandered into an open electrical cupboard where I could have probably disconnected the ACT’s Internet. It wasn’t that The Telstra Historical Exhibition had little more than a range of dusty old phones in cabinets. “Oh wow kids look! A Blackberry!”
It WAS that when we headed to the open viewing deck, it was SWARMING with wasps. Hundreds, possibly thousands. No warning. No signs. No staff. “Hey dad! These two are fighting!” They were mating. Multiplying. Everywhere we looked. Buzzing by at eye level. We were 90 metres up and at risk of massive attack with no one to call.
I hate you, Telstra. Telecom. Whatever. If your tower was great in the 1980s, it’s now a big dirty white elephant with fleas that needs attention. Update it. Wash it. Get rid of the wasps. Or just knock it down. Can’t telecommunications go underground now?