Fifield Says NBN Management Advised Him Of Federal Police Leaks Referral

The Minister for Communications, Senator Mitch Fifield, says he was advised by National Broadband Network management that leaks of sensitive information had been referred to the Australian Federal Police.

Fifield says he “did not instruct nor request them to do so”.

Text of statement from the Minister for Communications, Senator Mitch Fifield.

Last year there were leaks of commercially sensitive information from NBN.

The senior management of NBN initiated an internal review, which identified matters of concern.

The NBN senior management subsequently referred these matters to the AFP.

I was advised by NBN that the matter had been referred to the AFP. [Read more…]


Turnbull Says Strategic Review Into NBN Shows Delays And Cost Blowouts

The Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, says a review of the National Broadband Network shows it is two years behind schedule, has passed with fibre just 2% of its target, and will cost $29 billion more than the Labor government promised.

Turnbull released the Strategic Review into the NBN in a Ministerial Statement to the House of Representatives today.

Turnbull

The cost of the NBN had increased from $44 billion to $73 billion, according to Turnbull. [Read more…]


Jason Clare Accuses Government Of ‘Tawdry Excuses’ Over NBN Promise

The Shadow Minister for Communications, Jason Clare, has accused the Abbott government of breaking one of its most important election promises.

Clare was responding in the House of Representatives to today’s ministerial statement by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Clare said Turnbull’s abandonment of the coalition’s promise to deliver speeds of 25 megabits nationwide by 2016 made this “a day that the government will rue for a very long time”. [Read more…]


Turnbull Issues ‘Statement Of Expectations’ For The NBN

The Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, has issued a statement of expectations for the National Broadband Network.

Speaking at a press conference today, Turnbull also confirmed that he had requested the resignations of the NBN Board. He said this should not be taken as a personal criticism of the board but as a means of giving the government maximum flexibility when considering its options.

Turnbull said he had order NBN Co to continue rolling out fibre under existing contracts while a strategic review is undertaken. [Read more…]


Turnbull Speech: Open Markets, Open Minds And An Open Society

Malcolm Turnbull has delivered a speech on the economy in which he sounds a warning about Australia’s economic future.

Malcolm TurnbullThe Opposition’s shadow minister for Communications said of the changing world environment: “The real story is much more than China, or indeed Asia. At the centre of the great economic changes in the world today is an accelerating convergence triggered by trade liberalization and supercharged by the Internet. As people in developing countries acquire more skills at first world standards and as the Internet makes historically non-traded sectors thoroughly trade exposed, there are grave risks as well as new opportunities for high wage, developed economies like Australia.”

Turnbull called for inefficient and uncompetitive industries to adapt or die. He warned against government attempting to pick winners. “Now change is often very unsettling – but we need to remind ourselves and our fellow countrymen that just as firms which cannot change to new circumstances will decline, and sometimes close, the same is true for national economies.”

The speech also deals with education, broadband and “harmonious diversity”.

Text of Malcolm Turnbull’s ANU speech: Open Markets, Open Minds and an Open Society (or why we should be more like Stephanie Gilmore and less like King Canute)

It’s an honour to be here at the ANU for the launch of Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, the new flagship journal of the Crawford School of Public Policy.

Under the editorial leadership of Tom Kompas, Director of the Crawford School, APPS will focus on public policy research from – and about – Australia, Asia and the Pacific, with the first edition out at the start of 2014.

As the newspaper industry’s travails remind us, paper and ink are yesterday’s story, and I note with approval that Tom and his team have future-proofed APPS – it will be published electronically and free of charge, thanks in part to support from AusAID.

Public policy is ultimately the most pragmatic and applied of disciplines. But it must also be founded in rigorous thinking about economic and social behavior – big ideas about the interrelationships that have to be taken into account in successfully leading social and political change.

Rigorous empirical research based on sound precepts – studies of outcomes across jurisdictions, of what worked, what didn’t, and which unanticipated consequences arose – are the most valuable analysis and data available to policymakers considering a problem. And while we are often, but not often enough, aware of what has been tried in the UK, US or New Zealand, we typically know less about what’s been tried elsewhere, particularly beyond the OECD. [Read more…]


Abbott Says Broadband Network Should Go

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has repeated his call for the government to abandon the National Broadband Network and concentrate on flood reconstruction.

Speaking at a press conference today, Abbott said the NBN “is a luxury that Australia cannot now afford. The one thing you don’t do is re-do your bathroom when the roof has just been blown off and that’s the situation that we find ourselves in right now.” [Read more…]


NBN Business Case Released

The NBN Business Case report has been released by the federal government.

Pressure for release of the National Broadband Network business case has been mounting for some time.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, accompanied by Wayne Swan, Senator Conroy, Senator Wong, and the Chairman of NBNCo, Mike Quigley, held a press conference in Canberra today to release the report. [Read more…]