Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s Labor victory yesterday opened the boom gate for the National Broadband Network Company to get back into full gear after it put a freeze on tender awards and restricted spending in the limbo that was the post-election period.
In a statement issued yesterday afternoon, the company said it would now return to normal operations, resume the hiring process for new staff and “will meet with its shareholder ministers to discuss future policy directions”.
“The team at NBN Co has been working on business as usual in the post-election period, while limiting discretionary expenditure, extending the deadline for some tenders and putting the award of several tenders on hold,” the company said.
The NBN Co had faced an uncertain future since the election was called, due to the Coalition’s pledge to cancel the $43 billion project and wind the company up.
The future of hundreds of NBN Co staff — and its chief executive officer Mike Quigley (pictured) — was looking shaky. But now the company can rest easier.
“NBN Co’s management and its 300 employees welcome the clarity that today’s announcements provides in relation to the future of the NBN,” said the company’s statement.
The NBN Co spokesperson reflected on what the employees must feel after the closure they received yesterday, and focused on the path ahead. “Everyone at NBN Co is looking forward to working with business, government, the community and our customers to deliver a high-speed broadband future for all Australians,” they said.
One key issue for the company will be to determine what impact Labor’s agreement with several of the independents to focus on regional areas first with the NBN rollout will have.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott made it quite clear yesterday that he will be “hyper-vigilant” for any dropped balls during the NBN roll out — which he believes will run off the tracks eventually due to poor management.
Image credit: NBN Co