blog Over the past week, the National Broadband Network Company has held no less than five launch events to mark the switch-on of its fibre network infrastructure in Queensland and Western Sydney, locations which will be critical to the Australian Labor Party if it is to retain power in the upcoming Federal Election. All of the events have been dominated by the attendance of Labor politicians, and have been broadly interpreted by the media as being election campaign events. NBN Co claims the events are just business as usual, but even if that’s true, Labor is still using them to gain a massive election boost. As I write on Delimiter 2.0 this morning (paywalled):
“The National Broadband Network Company’s constant stream of launch events being held around Australia to promote the switch-on of NBN fibre infrastructure is providing the Australian Labor Party with a massively advantageous and uneven platform to promote its broadband policy and very likely breaches the Government’s Caretaker Conventions demanding equal treatment of all sides of politics during an election period.”
My full thoughts about the issue are in the article, but let me say this: I encourage you to download the Federal Government’s Caretaker Conventions (PDF) regarding the mandated behaviour of departments and government business enterprises such as NBN Co (and yes, NBN Co is explicitly covered by the Caretaker Conventions), check out the media coverage of some of the launches, and ask yourself whether NBN Co is giving Labor a free ride here. From my point of view, NBN Co’s support of the Labor campaign has been extraordinary and requires a much higher level of scrutiny than we’ve seen so far.
Image credit: NBN Co