blog It escaped our attention at the time, but the more astute among you may have noted in November last year that Peter Harris, the head of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, was appointed to chair the Government’s Productivity Commission. In his role under Conroy, Harris was frequently called on in forums such as Senate Estimates hearings to discuss Labor’s flagship National Broadband Network project, and just a couple of months into his new role (Harris started at the Commission on 11 March), he’s still talking up the initiative. The Financial Review reports (we recommend you click here for the full article, including a video interview):
“Productivity Commission chairman Peter Harris has signalled his support for Labor’s national broadband network, but welcomed the idea of doing a cost-benefit analysis for an Abbott government.”
One does rather wonder whether Harris’ move to the Productivity Commission will have any impact on the Coalition’s plans to utilise the agency to research broadband options (including a possible cost/benefit analysis) if it wins power in the upcoming September Federal Election. From the Coalition’s point of view, after all, it might be a tad hard to believe that Harris would be able to be completely impartial about the merits of the various NBN policies out there, although of course he is an experienced and capable civil servant. Only time will tell.
Image credit: NBN Co