Joint with Jim Chalmers MP, Shadow Minister for Finance.

Labor does not consider the appointment of a permanent NBNCo CEO this close to the election to be appropriate, particularly given the dysfunctional state of the Turnbull Government.

This appointment is exactly why Bill Shorten today wrote to Malcolm Turnbull asking him to cease taking any actions that may bind the decisions of an incoming government, in line with caretaker conventions. The chaos overwhelming the Government means it would be inappropriate to make appointments such as this one.

We have made our view clear that the appointment of the CEO should have been an interim one.

Labor also made clear we expected to be consulted on any ongoing appointment for this reason.

This has not occurred.

Between now and the next federal election, whenever that may be, NBNCo should focus on the following:

  1. Minimise the amount of Fibre to the Node deployment wherever feasible, and at a minimum take fibre to the kerb.
  2. Implement Labor’s NBN Service Guarantee to establish effective wholesale service standards for consumers.
  3. Bring an end to the spin which has undermined internal decision-making.
  4. Improve transparency over the risks in the business case caused by the multi-technology mix.

There must be no repeat of the political co-ordination between the Coalition and NBNCo that occurred during the 2016 election. The appointed CEO will be directly accountable for this.

Equitable access to quality broadband is transformative in its potential to extend social and economic opportunity.

This has always Labor’s driving purpose, no matter where you live or work in Australia.