Opposition slams Conroy’s Kaiser tip


Shadow Communications Minister Tony Smith has described as “absolutely staggering” the revelation that his opposite Stephen Conroy recommended a senior Labor figure for an uncontested senior National Broadband Network Company job.

Multiple outlets have reported that Conroy told a Senate Estimates committee yesterday that he recommended senior Anna Bligh staffer Mike Kaiser for a NBN Co job worth $450k annually. NBN Co chief Mike Quigley defended the hire as “not dissimilar” from the process used for many other employees.

The position was not advertised, and Quigley said Conroy was the only person to raise Kaiser’s name with him.

Kaiser is now the NBN Co’s government relations and external affairs chief. Up until recently he was Queensland Premier Anna Bligh’s chief of staff, and he also served in the Queensland parliament until 2001, when he resigned after admitting to involvement in vote rigging in the 1980’s.

In a statement, Smith said Conroy’s admission was “absolutely staggering”.

“This raises serious questions about the NBN Co’s employment and management processes, and the level of political involvement and interference by the Rudd Government,” he said. “It is not the job of the Minister to suggest potential jobs for Labor mates at NBN Co.”

Image credit: Office of Tony Smith

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