As the head of NBN’s construction team hits the road, Opposition spokesperson for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, enters the debate, once again.
Patrick Flannigan, who has just resigned from NBN Co just days after it was forced to suspend construction tenders negotiations leaves the whole project in jeopardy, Turnbull says.
“It leaves the NBN, the most expensive publicly-funded engineering project in Australian history, without a Head of Construction.”
He also suggested the company charged with building Australia’s fibre broadband network may have “underestimated the cost of the construction.”
Turnbull, a vocal opponent on the $36bn project from the outset, believes the latest ructions expose “the inadequacy of current supervision and accountability” in what he terms “this risky, complex $50 billion investment.”
And taxpayers deserve answers on whether NBN Co has the right plan and team at the top, and should be stopped in its tracks until a full examination of the proposed network is given, he says.
“It would be unthinkable for NBN Co to commit to contracts costing millions of dollars of taxes in the near future unless they are preceded by thorough Parliamentary scrutiny.”
This is the former Liberal leader’s latest attempt to derail the rollout of the network. Just last Friday he seized on the cessation of the tenders process and called on the Communications minister to explain where the newly stalled NBN tenders leaves the project.
Flannigan, who was in the role for just 18 months, shock resignation has come as a major blow for the company.
No reason has been given for the sudden resignation, although a spokesperson did say it was “disappointed Mr Flannigan has decided to resign, as he made a valuable contribution to the senior management team”.