02x08 - Summit Attempt

Episode transcripts for the 2014 TV show "Utopia" (AKA "Dreamland"). Aired October 2014 - 2019.*
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"Utopia" (AKA "Dreamland") follows the working lives of a team in a newly created government organisation responsible for overseeing major infrastructure projects, from announcement to unveiling. Set inside the offices of the "Nation Building Authority" it explores the collision between bureaucracy and grand ambitions.
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02x08 - Summit Attempt

Post by bunniefuu »

A transformation future... $8.5 billion for roads, rail and ports...

Infrastructure of the 21st century.

.. benefit future generations...

There's no future plan for Australia under this government!

.. major infrastructure projects... decisions for the long term...

We want to spend the money.

.. nation-building projects...

I want to be known as the infrastructure Prime Minister.



And it was, um, it was just, that was how it was left, from memory.

Be that as it may, Mr Woodford, this scheme has failed to deliver.

I'm not sure we'd use the word failed.

We did.

But not publicly.

It's true some of the outcomes were less than optimal.

To say the least.

But with respect, Senator, I feel some of the elements more than exceeded expectations.

Could you give us one example?

Yes. Scotty?

No, not that one.

Where's the sheet I gave you this morning?

Oh, yeah. This one.

Why would they want our flight details?

The other one?

Ah, here we go.


If you could just bear with me for one minute.

You don't have any checked luggage.


We've got three hours.


Same seats.

Thank you.

It's going well.

You did a good job.


Big ticks from the PM's office.

Jim, we got hammered. What are you talking about?

You kept him out of it, and they're appreciative.

How did they know about that costing blowout?

I didn't think about that.

The current Senator did.

They learn quick these days.

Do you want to get some lunch on the way to the airport?

Good idea.


I've had enough. 18 months on that f*cking project.

A project I opposed.

God knows how many millions of dollars down the drain.

'Cause you guys change your mind, then chase the next shiny toy down the road and yet again I'm wheeled out as the human shield.

So, we still grabbing lunch?

Katie, my internet's dropped out.

Have you tried the foyer?

No. Scott said there's a good wi-fi signal next to the lifts.

I need one in my office.

We can move your office.

We could get it fixed.

We're waiting on the new routers.

And, Nat, don't forget your Christmas cards.

It's not even December.

I've done mine.

I'm getting you some new pens.

I can't do this anymore.

We're supposed to be making long-term plans.

We do.

We don't stick to them.

I'm hearing you.

We get all the ducks lined up then something else changes.

I know how you feel. It's like this reshuffle.

What reshuffle?

Did I not tell you about that?

Are we getting a new minister?

Maybe. I'll keep you posted.

Jim, I can't go on like this.

You need a break.

I was on a break. I was in Byron Bay for less than 48 hours when you dragged me back for this thing.

I want you to go back there right now. Recharge the old batteries.

I promise you won't hear from us.


Can I give you some holiday reading?

No! This can wait.

We'll go to lunch first.

(Mobile rings)

Yeah, Katie. Oh, beautiful.

Not a cloud in the sky. Couldn't be better.

Yeah. No. Well worth it.

What's that?

Well, can't someone else do them?

And they have to be signed.

When do you need them by?




I have to sign some documents being delivered by courier. Woodford.

I'll check for you, sir.

Nothing here.

Oh, Woodley?

No, Woodford. An A4 package about this thick.

Oh, yes, that's arrived.

Great. Where is it?

Mr Woodley's room.

I'll give him a call.


How's that?


Let me know if it's too hard.

No. That's perfect.

Hey, I'm so sorry. Here.

(Sighs deeply)

And they want you to initial each page.

You're a bit tight.

Katie, why are we sending a card to A4 Office Logistics?

They sent one to us last year. Who are they?

I don't know.

Can I ask about staff presents?

Don't we do hampers?

We had that problem with the fruitcake containing nuts.

Don't get hampers with food.

What will we get?

I don't know. Bath salts.

Nut free?

I don't think you have nuts in salt.

But you have salted nuts.

Could you do these as well?

Why don't you decide?

Can I show you some options?

Wi-fi's still not working.

Can we do it in the foyer?

Why don't you print some out? I'll look at them later.


Who's Aspire Solutions?

I can check.

Don't worry about it.

'All the best.

Thanks for everything.'

What we're going to do is lean forward on your front and focus on your breathing.

What the Prime Minister terms a significant reshuffle... replacing Federal Government ministers.

It does reset and refocus the Government.

Question remains, will it be better...

The new cabinet will be sworn in on Tuesday.

I am so sorry.

It's not your fault. A new minister.

Jim said to call.


Do we know who it is?



What's he like?

Young. Ambitious. A real mover and shaker in the party.

Any negatives?

I just gave them to you.

He'll be here for six months, max.

That's a positive.

No. He'll really want to get things going.


Yes. Yep.

Did you get to go for walks every day?

I was only there for one.

Did you go for a walk?

Yes, to the Business Centre. I swear we get more every year.

That's office, department, stakeholders.

This is to me.

Aren't you a stakeholder?

Sort of.

I think we should send it anyway.


This is not urgent, no need to do it until you're back from holidays.

I am back.

Until you're supposed to be back.


Hey! How was your break?


You got good weather.

I'm not there.

Sorry about that.

Just with the changes upstairs and Harper...

I heard.

He was angling for Sport but that got snaffled, then there was Agriculture, but he was born in Newcastle, so they did a deal with Social Services and parked a junior minister there and gave him Infrastructure.

Good result.

Did he want Infrastructure?

No. He was furious. But it solved everything else.

They offered him Health next time so he'll wear it.

Tony, dinner tonight. Do you want the early sitting?


The Beach Hotel.

I'm not in Byron.

Lucky they rang.

I've been thinking about what you said. I want to make you an offer.

Voluntary redundancy?

No, no. Hear me out.

I want to offer you a blank sheet -- name your project.


You said it, we go hot, we go cold.

The boss is embarrassed.

He actually called you in Byron but got a Mr Woodley.

He doesn't need to call me.

Think about your number one priority.

And we will do everything we can to make sure it gets up.

That's not the answer.

What about that gas pipeline? Say the word.

This is the problem. We keep searching for something new.

Gas pipeline or a solar-powered train.

Then halfway through someone changes their mind or they read a poll and you find something else.

When you say solar-powered tr...

It's a joke.

We've got no clear priorities, no long-term strategy.

You want me to name a project?


We get this country's brightest minds together.

Engineers, scientists, academics, economists.

Put them in one room for a week and focus on real solutions.

All jokes aside, would a solar-powered train actually work?


It's just with renewable energy back on the table...

We get them together, leave short-term political thinking at the door, and come up with an infrastructure blueprint for the future.

A conference.

You mean like a summit?

No. You wouldn't call it a summit?


Do you mind if I do?

Yes. I want a conference.

Genuine experts, leaders in their field, mapping out a long-term strategy.



Leave it with me.

That's it.


This is the engine room. Nation builders.

Don't get up, just passing through.

Rhonda: Oh, Minister (!)

Here's our CEO, Tony Woodford.






Pleased to meet you.

Likewise. Great work in Canberra. We owe you.

Thank you.

Nat Russell, our chief operations officer.


Please, Brad.

Minister, can I get you to hold that?

Yeah. How's that?

Alright, let me say this, folks.

When the Prime Minister came to me and said, 'Brad, name your portfolio.' I didn't have to think long.

Infrastructure was top of my list.

And it is a privilege to be a small part of such a dynamic organisation.

Now, I intend to h*t the ground running and that means no...

I'm sorry, Minister.

Just bear with me.


Sure. Who?

No, that's not going to happen.

Well, who... Who told him that?

No. If that prick turns up to one more branch meeting I'll have his b*lls for breakfast.

You're not going to sh**t this?

Sorry about that. Where was I?


As far as I'm concerned, my work starts today.

I intend to h*t the ground running.

It's a steep learning curve, but I'm in the right place --

Nation Building Australia.

Tony: Authority.


Sorry, Tony. What was that?

We're actually called Nation Building Authority.

You shouldn't be. It should be Nation Building Australia.

Absolutely. Nation Building Australia, Tony.


I'll take care of it.

We're away.

Hear that?


That's the sound of hitting the ground running.

Right, let's go.

Right. Let the tour continue.

Let's do it.


Brad, how you going?

These can also wait till you're back from holiday.

I am back.

We haven't told anyone.

Seriously, it's fine. Who's 'Cole, Bron and all the team'?

Not sure.

Why am I wishing them Merry Christmas?

Just to be on the safe side.

Tony, did you get Rhonda's email?

I'm not getting emails.

That's because of the wi-fi upgrade.

Why does every upgrade in this office involve a downgrade?

She wants to meet today.

What about?

Ah, the summit.

You mean conference.

She didn't mention a conference.

That's what she meant.

That reminds me, someone from the resort rang -- tonight's seafood banquet might be inside due to rain.

You're still talking about Byron Bay.

You might head back.

I'm not there tonight.

That's lucky. It's raining.


Who's Allensus Corporate Services?

Um, I'd still do it.


This is ridiculous.

He must have been caught up.

He called this meeting for 8:00.

He wants to h*t the ground running.

Are we allowed to have a muffin?


That was the Minister's PA -- he's running late.

We know that, Katie.

Even later. There's been a crisis at his office.

Do we know what?

His office.

Apparently, he should have got the bigger one.

He still wants to have the briefing.


They didn't say.

Alright, let's all get on with our work.

Katie, can you let us know when he gets here?


Where are you going?

Foyer. Wi-fi.

Oh, yeah.

Little bit of sand and sun, I hear.

I was only there for a day.

Lucky you. Now you're rested, let's talk about this summit of yours.


Apologies. My mistake.

How many delegates are you thinking?



Delegates sounds like they're representing the government.

If we're putting on a summit...

Conference. Speakers.

I want genuine, independent expertise.

Any names in mind?

I'm working on a list, mostly local, a few international.

There's a guy from Vancouver I'd love to get.

International. I like this.

Jonah Friedman.

Never heard of him.

He's an urban engineer.

Has he been on Q&A?

No, he's Canadian.

Done a TED talk?


Alright. Captain's pick. Let's put him on the list.

While you've got your pen out I had a thought for the conference name.

I'm all ears. h*t me.

Something like -- Identifying, Prioritising Infrastructure Needs stroke Challenges For The New Decade.

That's a little wordy.

But it's accurate.

Tell you what, it's a good starting point.


Nat, two things.

We've managed to find nut-free hampers.


But they contain gluten.

I said no food.

In the body wash.

Who's going to eat body wash?

We could do what accounts are doing.

Which is?

Instead of gifts, everyone gets a donation to a charity.

Are they happy with that?


They say it's not in the spirit of Christmas.

Maybe not.

I'll keep thinking.

Katie, you said two things.

Oh, yeah, the Minister's here.

Brad: What poll is this?

No way. Tell that little sh*t he only got preselection because of me so if he wants to cosy up to the dries, good luck.

Why didn't you tell me?


OK. Today. Right.

Pat's here.

I'm so sorry, Minister.

Let's start.

Over to you, Pat.


Thank you, Minister -- as you've requested, we've put together a summary of our current projects.

Excellent. Let's h*t the ground running.

They're broken into key areas -- transport, water, energy.


Is there something wrong?

Bridges, channel deepening -- a synchrotron?


Bit tired?

A synchrotron?

What's next year's synchrotron?

It's still a synchrotron.

Is that solar-powered train in here?

The what?

The Minister's looking for fresh thinking.

You know what?

Let's step back a bit, OK?

Look over the horizon.


Long-term vision. Blank sheet.

What can we do in the next six months?

Six months?

Or sooner?

Give me something announcement-ready.

(Mobile rings)

Oh, you jerk.

Sorry, Pat, I've got to take this.



What's he want? He's in his first term.

Does he want to move up the ticket or not?
Guys, couple of minutes.

Oh, yes. Of course.

Yeah. No, go on.

If you could make a start.


This is...

They said the whole association would...

(Door opens)

There you are.

Ah, welcome!

I thought we should get Karsten's perspective.


Very exciting, Tony.

A nation-building summit.

A conference.

Perhaps we should start with the most important question...

Who we invite.

I was thinking venue.

This is why we bring him in.

But this is your idea. So let's go with that.

Who are you thinking we should invite? Blank sheet.

I've actually started a list.

Did you get my email?


We're having problems with wi-fi.

I have a copy.

Wonderful. We can add this to our list.

I hope they're all free in March.



This coming March?

When were you thinking?

Later in the year or the year after.


These people are pretty hard to get.

Get other people.


I think the priority is we make the summit happen.


It's a wonderful idea, Tony.

He looks angry.

Might still be having problems with his office.

A blank sheet? What does he want?

Fresh thinking.

He wants to run.

He hasn't touched the muffins.

I reckon we forget about the muffins.

There's four types.

Let's talk venue. Where were you thinking?

I was thinking Sydney, at the Conference Centre.

I think we can be grander.

What do you mean?

Why fly in the best and brightest from around the world and then stick them in a conference centre?

It's a conference!

Think of the photo opportunity.

It's the opening ceremony.


Where do you want to see your delegates?

Speakers. In a conference centre.


Yes, please.


The Great Barrier Reef.

I love it.

On a tiered pontoon.

This is what I'm trying to avoid.

Warm weather.

Photo opportunities.

No, style dictating substance.

Alright, substance.

Um, the Old Parliament House.

It makes it political.

It needs to resonate, Tony.

OK. What's the name of that train?

Is this the solar-powered one?

No. The one that travels across Australia.

Bzzz. The Ghan.

Yes. OK, The Ghan.

All our delegates travelling and solving problems announcing plans at whistlestops.

We're not doing this on a train.

OK. Bear with me. What's the biggest piece of infrastructure ever built in Australia?

Snowy Mountain Hydro Scheme.


Hang on.

A symbolic venue.

Rhonda, it's in the mountains.

(Exhales loudly)

Is anyone thinking what I'm thinking?

I doubt it.

Tell us, Karsten.

The summit on the summit.

I love it. You've done it again!

Sorry about that. The reshuffle party room's a bit restless.

Where were we?

Current projects.

I want to know what's the next big project for this office.

Putting in a new wi-fi network.

The minister's referring to major projects. Could we go to the lists?

Sure. Help me out, Pat. What's our big-ticket item?

I guess it's the Darwin port upgrade. That's it there.

Yeah. I've heard about this.

We've been at it for 18 months.



It's about Asian engagement.

That's perfect. When do we announce?

It's been announced.

Again, stale.


What else?

There's the Melbourne metro tunnel.

That's started.

There's a lot of work to do.

Let's keep drilling down, OK?

Have you got anything for Queensland?

Q Connect?

What's Q Connect?

That's nowhere near ready.

That sounds like the sort of project I'm talking about.

Has it been announced?


Perfect. What is it?

It's very early days.

It's a proposal connecting regional areas to the electricity grid.

That sounds like something we should be looking at.

How do you spell Q Connect?

Q. Just the letter Q...

(Mobile rings)

Sorry. I've got to get this.

Do you want us to...

Yeah. Would you mind?


Actually, give me 10.

.. Connect.


Yeah, what are the numbers?

Just a couple of b*llet points on Q Connect.


All my cards, done. Done?

Yep, unless you want me to start on next year's.

What did you say to Cole, Bron and all the team?

'Merry Christmas. All the best'.

That's nice.


I'm heading down the coffee shop.

I can make you one.

I need wi-fi.

Can you look at Rhonda and Karsten's list of delegates?


For the summit.

The conference. Sure.

Oh... Oh.

I've lost it. I'll come with you.

Get them to see me later in the day.

She and Karsten are looking for venues.

When they get back.

From Mt Kosciuszko?


I can't believe you mentioned that.

He wanted fresh ideas.

Q Connect? It's barely past a thought bubble.

There's no business case. EIS. We haven't lined up a single investor.

He liked it.

How many b*llet points does he want?

For our sakes, let's hope he forgets about it.

How do you spell that?





I've got wi-fi.

I'll look on my computer.

Nothing here.

There was yesterday.

Hang on. Got some here.

Nuh. I've lost it.

Try this. Click on Networks.


Scroll down. There's a network.

Commonwealth Bank? It's got a really strong signal and I know the password because I've got a friend who works there.

I'm not stealing someone's broadband, even if it is a bank.

God, it's strong.

Alright, what's the password?

I'll get it.

There he is. Exciting news. Summit on the summit.

You realise it's at Mt Kosciuszko.

PM's right on board.

He's going to land in a Chinook. Might even... snip, snip.


He does have one concern.


What was the general theme again?

I told you. Identifying and prioritising infrastructure needs.

He loves that.

Mapping out long-term strategies.

That too.

Taking some decisions out of the hand of politicians.

That's the bit.

If this is going to be a meaningful exercise, you...

Hey, hey, hey!

You promised.

What's the time frame again?

We agreed. For the next decade.

PM's right. It feels a bit short-term.

A decade?

It sort of commits him.

Isn't that the idea?

Could we think longer term?

15 years?



Does it have to be this century?

What? Yep.

You ready?








That's it.



You left this in your room at Byron.


Oh. That explains a lot.


Nat, have you been online this morning?

I'm still not getting wi-fi.




The men's toilets. If you stand next to the urinal...

I'm not setting up an office in the men's.

It's just there's been a development.

What do you mean?

You'd better come.

This is gross.

Here it is.

What are you doing?

It's the only place you can stream.

Harper: We want to h*t the ground running.

There's a lot of people trying to push Q Connect back.

I'm saying, 'Not this minister. Not for the people of Queensland.'

Let's get moving.

He's announced it?

ABC Brisbane. This morning.

He's got no idea what he's talking about.

That didn't stop him.

He had three b*llet points. Actually, four.

I gave him one.

I'm happy with all these names.

I wonder if we can get them. Tony!


Come in.

Karsten, show him.

What's this?

Official summit costume. Karsten's had an idea for the photo.

We line up all of the summiteers...

The what?

The delegates.

.. on horseback in this. All 150 of them.

150? There was only 30 names on my list.

We thought your list was a little narrow so...

Can I have that, please?

We've broadened the range of delegates.

Nicole Kidman?

Fingers crossed.

What does she know about infrastructure?

Didn't she once play a scientist?

She did.

That might have been Naomi Watts.


Did you not see Paper Giants?

Gripping Australian TV.

What's Tom Burlinson doing on this list?

Who better to sing the national anthem than our Tom?

Nat, lunch?

Oh, um. Anything. Sushi?

Could it be a wrap?


The sushi place doesn't have wi-fi.

OK. Make it a wrap.

The usual? Lettuce, tomato, no mayo?


Oh, and the Minister's here.


That's my point. There's no-one here with any infrastructure experience.

Scotty Cam.

You're being ridiculous.

What happened to my names?

Let's add them to the list.

They were on the list.

They keep getting bumped off.

There's only so many horses, Tony.

I think we're getting bogged down.

We can come back to this. Let's move onto the schedule. Karsten?

Thank you, Rhonda. As you can see, blue is confirmed, red is a maybe and green is provisional.

Provisional on what?

Whether Hugh Jackman can make it for the opening ceremony.

It's Wolverine V. They're shifting around some dates.

We've moved the arrival function to Thursday afternoon, followed by drinks, then the official reception.

When do we start discussing anything?

The formal dinner.

Without food and beverage being involved.

OK, well, summit kicks off Friday morning, early, with breakfast, casual coffee.

What happened to my plenary sessions?

We didn't know what they were... so we replaced them.


Brunch, informal setting.

Which I think sounds very plenary.

You're kidding me.

We've all got to eat.

You squashed my conference into half a morning.

Starting very early.

And finishing by lunch.

At lunch, with the farewell to summiteers.

Jack Thompson.

Reciting the entire Man From Snowy River.

Fingers crossed.

I am so sorry again.

That's fine. Don't worry about it. Totally fine.

So what have you got for me?

As I mentioned, we're still very much at a preliminary phase, but here is the original brief, the scoping study...

What's this for?

Q Connect, the Queensland electricity project.

I've announced it.


Well... Moving forward to the implementation phase, I assumed you wanted a briefing.


Sorry. What did you want to see me about?

Do you have anything for WA?


Yeah, Perth.

If a solar-powered train's going to work anywhere...

Anyway, you know what?

Blank sheet. It's all yours.



I reckon...

Yeah, yeah, of course.

OK. Thank you, Pat.

The urban water security strategy?

It's been announced.

Fremantle bypass?

Think it's been cancelled.

Could he announce that?


Scott, do you want to sit down?

Can't. Wi-fi signal.

How's it going?

We need something the Minister can announce.

Apart from his retirement.

We'll keep searching.

Good luck with that.

How's the conference looking?

Don't ask.

I just did.

I'm thinking of pulling the pin.


It's been a waste of time.

The only thing I've achieved this week is finishing my Christmas cards.


What do you mean, oh?

You remember, right?

The name change?

Nation Building Australia?

New cards.

Katie... fresh pens.

The summit!

I'm sorry, Jim, I've made up my mind.

You can't pull the pin now. It's going so well.

It's going off the rails.

The PM loves it. Towards 22C.


Your new name.

When did it get a name?

Are you not getting my emails?


Can you take my laptop to the toilets and press send and receive?


Yeah, it's good, huh?

It sounds like an airline seat. What's it mean?

22nd Century. We're planning for the next century.

What happened to the next decade?

I think we needed a longer-term vision.

You said anything I want.


I wanted a meaningful discussion about our infrastructure needs.

And what's this?

A celebrity brunch.


Tony, trust me.

We'll keep a lid on all this, but 22C will deliver.

Tonight -- crowds flock to the Easter Show.

The Socceroos gear up for tomorrow's big challenge.

And could solar trains be on the way?

More from Summit 22C.

It's in one of these.

They were...

Getting out of the car, the box fell open, and... Nope.

That's just a map.

Which was the one you dropped?

This one.


Say stop if you see it.

Here it is.

Um... No, that's not it.
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