The federal government has commissioned an audit in to Labor’s National Broadband Network, and the audit has found that the NBN was, ‘Rushed, chaotic and inadequate’. Former Telstra Director, Bill Scales, stated that the Rudd Government only went through 11 weeks of consideration for the policy, ‘There was no business case or any cost benefit analysis, or independent studies of the policy undertaken … and without any consultation with the wider community,’ Mr Scales said.
Because of the findings by Mr Scales, political parties may have to present more stringent costings during election campaigns. The current NBN was estimated to cost $43 billion and only take around 10 years to complete, but is now tipped to blow out to $76 billion and take up to 20 years to complete.
Also according to Mr Scales’s findings, the company that was given the project to oversee, NBN co, was ‘not fit for purpose’. ‘It was a start-up company given a job that only a well-functioning, large and established telecommunications company would have been able to undertake in the allotted time frame,’ he concluded. ‘Tight time frames and inadequate operating instructions took their toll immediately on NBN Co. During the first 12 months of the existence of NBN Co, some of those involved describe the process as ‘making it up as they went’.’
Mr Scales has recommended that all infrastructure based election promises for over $1 billion are ‘fully and independently costed by the Productivity Commission or Infrastructure Australia … and to disclose fully the costs of the project to the public’.
What do you think? Do you agree all large infrastructure based election promises should be costed more stringently?