An Australian journalist was pushed aside while trying to question Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin after a heated Senate inquiry.
(See translation in Arabic section)
Sydney - Middle East Times Int’l: An Australian journalist was pushed aside while trying to question Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin after a heated Senate inquiry.
Ms Bayer Rosmarin faced a grilling on Friday during a Senate inquiry into the provider’s national outage last week which left about 10 million customers, including small businesses, without service.
The head of Optus was seen leaving Parliament House at lunchtime with a heavy police presence along with what looked to be private security, when TV journalist Isabelle Mullen was shoved by a security guard.
ACT Police have confirmed the guard was from the Parliamentary Security Service.
The journalist was addressing questions to the CEO, holding up the microphone towards her face, but was having no luck getting past the guards. She then asked one of the security guards to stop pushing her away so she could receive an answer from the Optus boss.
But the man told her to move aside in an attempt to block Ms Bayer Rosmarin from facing any further questions.
Ms Bayer Rosmarin remained silent, as she walked steadily behind the group with her head down.
After the incident, Optus said it was aware that a journalist was pushed following the Senate inquiry.
“We do not think this is acceptable and want to clarify this was not Optus’ security detail,” Optus Senior Director Corporate Affairs Sally Oelerich said.
Ms Bayer Rosmarin has come under fire since the outage, with many criticising her for not fronting the public sooner to address the issue that occurred last Wednesday.
The telecommunications boss said she first wanted to prioritise the team’s crisis response and figure out the issue in order bring the network back online.
Ms Bayer Rosmarin said she had to decide on how to “handle” the call centre being down, if physical stores around the country should be open, boosting security for frontline staff and assessing the impact to IT systems.
“This was critical to ensure we could re-establish the network safely,” she told the inquiry.
“Secondly, I wanted to ensure that before I spoke and given how little information we had about the cause and potential restoration time, that we could at least rule out the possibility of malicious activity to reassure our customers and the nation.”
The blackout meant people could not contact emergency services from landlines, public transport was delayed in Melbourne, business owners could not open or were forced to delay operating hours and phone lines in some hospitals also went down.