Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Switkowski set to head NBN Company despite "no comment" from Turnbull

The Coalition frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull has refused to confirm speculation that former Telstra chief executive Ziggy Switkowski will be appointed to head the company responsible for the rollout of the National Broadband Network.

Mr Turnbull says any decision would have to be made by the Coalition cabinet.

“That decision would be taken by a cabinet and obviously if I’m the Communications Minister it would be on my recommendation," he said.

“It’s not the first time Ziggy’s name has been flagged. He is obviously highly qualified and most people would regard him as an eminently suitable person but no decision has been taken by a Coalition government because we haven’t been sworn in yet.”

However, speaking on ABC News Breakfast, Mr Turnbull expressed concerns about the operation and makeup of the NBN Co board.

“It is remarkable that there is no one on that board who has either run or built or managed a large telecommunications network. That is a singular deficiency," he said.

Mr Turnbull confirmed the Coalition will order a forensic audit into NBN Co to examine governance and policy.

“We have not ruled out a judicial inquiry. That is certainly a possibility,” he said.

The current chief executive of the NBN Co, Mike Quigley, announced his retirement in July and is expected to remain in the role until a successor is appointed.

The ABC contacted Mr Switkowski in relation to the speculation but he refused to comment.


  1. Now begins the conservative wrecking ball of NBN. Wont be long before "jobs for the boys" becomes the norm. When do we the Australian people really get to find out about what the coalitions plans are for NBN Co ?? It is a total mystery.

  2. I have less problem with Mr Switkowski being in charge than what the terms of the Cost Benefit Analysis will be. You can get a CBA to say anything if you set the terms "correctly".

    I would like Mr Turnbull to announce the terms, before it goes, and WHY those terms we set.

    I would like financial terms of 30+ years, including the required copper upgrade post FTTH, including all aspects of the financials such as increased maintenance and loss of revenue from cherry picking.

    Naturally the less tangible dis-benefits such as non-ubiquitous reliability (reducing GDP improvements), increased prices for rural (as "small" part of a driving factor to increase strain on urbanised resources) and the like will be harder to quantify, and I doubt would be included (despite needing to be there)

    1. More likely Mr Turnbull will set the CBA to 5 years (before its even built) and never release the report. Then pay Telstra $10 Billion for the copper and we're in the same mess Howard put us in.

      He's not interested in what is best for the country. If the people wanted that, why did they bother voting Liberal?

  3. FttN is the Pair Gain of our current communications era.

    The Coalition have wasted no time in resurrecting the rotting corpse of Ziggy Switkowski. A spineless zombie at the helm of what will be a festering NBN wreckage.


What's your view on this?