Senate debates

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Questions without Notice

National Broadband Network

2:56 pm

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

One of Labor's mistakes was to fail to grasp that the NBN project was not about technology, it was not about marketing and it was not about spin; it was, in essence, a giant construction project. Again, NBN Co's former deputy chair let the cat out of the bag. She said that NBN Co's model of layer upon layer upon layer of subcontractors—the Sarah Lee approach, perhaps!—was wrong.

We know that it certainly did not work well in Western Australia, South Australia or the Northern Territory. Let me quote Ms Smith-Gander again:

You had to go four up the chain until you actually got to one of the head contractors. I don't think that's the right way to have relationships with the people who work for you.

There were too many layers of management and not enough efficient execution. It was obvious to the board, the construction firms and the coalition that the previous government were not focused enough on execution. And the only person who could not see that was Senator Conroy. (Time expired)


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