Senate debates

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Questions without Notice

National Broadband Network

2:53 pm

Photo of Mitch FifieldMitch Fifield (Victoria, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Social Services) Share this | Hansard source

I know that my Western Australian colleagues believe that the former government were building not a National Broadband Network but rather an Eastern States broadband network.

A key reason for NBN Co's dismal progress was Labor's contempt for expert advice. They refused to hire executives with relevant experience, they refused to listen when industry experts warned the project was in peril and yesterday we learnt that they even refused to listen to their hand-picked board of directors.

At an Australian Financial Review lunch yesterday, former NBN deputy chair Diane Smith-Gander exposed the truth. According to the AFR:

… she has "no regrets" about her time overseeing the construction of the national broadband network, but suggested the federal government ignored advice of the board.

When asked whether the board had urged Senator Conroy to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the NBN, Ms Smith-Gander said:

Think about the notion of suggesting anything to Minister Conroy.

There you have it. The previous government disregarded all and— (Time expired)


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