Phil Burgess' best quotes

Telstra's bombastic public policy chief Phil Burgess has peppered the Australian public with vitriolic and memorable quotes since his ascension to the role in July 2005. From whether his mother should buy Telstra shares to Darryl Kerrigan in the castle, Dr Phil had it all. We've collated some of the best.

Telstra's bombastic public policy chief Phil Burgess has peppered the Australian public with vitriolic and memorable quotes since his ascension to the role in July 2005. From whether his mother should buy Telstra shares to Darryl Kerrigan in The Castle, Dr Phil said it all. We've collated some of the best.

Telstra's Phil Burgess
(Credit: Telstra)

Burgess today said he would leave Telstra to return to the US in September to care for his wife's mother who is seriously ill.

On whether he would invest his own money in Telstra shares:

"I'll keep that to myself, but I sure wouldn't recommend it to my mother."

On federal opposition leader Brendan Nelson:

"What's his face, the guy with the funny hair."

On attacking federal politicians:

"The reason you kick pollies around is so you can be nice to dogs."

Getting Australian slang slightly wrong, following a tough Telstra AGM:

"One intense, sincere, articulate and highly-animated woman was not too keen on the activities of the management or the oversight of the directors either. At the end of a heated denunciation she said: 'You blokes couldn't sell tickets to a chook raffle'."

On the National Broadband Network:

"It's like watching a B-grade slasher movie but, in this film, the knives are out for millions of Telstra customers and shareholders."

On the ACCC:

"It's a fundamental fact that any network that you build, whether it's a telecom network, an electric power grid, a water pipe line, a rail road — that's another place where the ACCC interfered with private investment. They are in every place, they are like maggots. Anytime you find the wealth creation, you find the ACCC there trying to eat it up."

To NSW farmers asking what they are going to do after the OPEL bush broadband project was shut down:

"You can take Vodafone." He later added the operator did everything OPEL was going to do "and then some".

On regulation:

"If McDonald's goes into business and says, you know, it has to go to a regulator before it goes into business and declare what it's going to do on its ovens and it says, we're going to cook 15-cent hamburgers, which is what they cost originally.

And, and they say, what else? Well, French fries. Then they come along and say 15 years later, we want to do fish sandwiches. Well, fish sandwich, you know, you didn't say that originally, so you have to do a 'mother may I' to a regulator before you can do a fish sandwich."

On cinema:

"As many of you may know, I love Australian movies and in fact just this weekend I saw Rats in the Ring. Is that what it's called? The Rings and the Rats or something about that: the political movie.

One of my favourite Australian movies is Kenny — I can tell some people have seen it.

Luckily, I was sitting beside an Aussie at the movie because I had to hit him like three or four times because I didn't even know what a 'loo' was when I saw Kenny. It was in that movie that I learnt some of Kenny's words for Advance Australia Fair. In the movie he said he was 16 years old before he realised that the first stanza to Advance Australia Fair was not: "Australians let us all ring Joyce, for she is young and free."

On football:

"The biggest story in football this week has been Barry Hall and his seven-week suspension ... and then I got to thinking, wait a minute, Graeme Samuel used to be a commissioner for the AFL. Clearly this is one of the legacy effects of Graeme Samuel: giving somebody a free ride."

On cinema again:

"I said, 'my favourite movie is The Castle'. He said: 'The Castle? Why the hell do you like The Castle?' And I said: 'Graeme, what is there not to like about The Castle? Here, Darryl Kerrigan beats the government in the takings case'."

Got any great Phil Burgess quotes we missed? Post them in the comments field below or drop us a line.

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