Conroy at the heart of NBN problems
Good to see that there are people who won't allow Stephen Conroy to re-write history without being challenged.
Conroy said on Friday that it was the fault of the nation's construction industry that the NBN was running behind its rollout targets.
Here's David Chandler quoted in today's The Australian
Stephen Conroy 'root cause' of NBN woes
FORMER communications minister Stephen Conroy was the "root cause" of Labor's "abysmal" handling of the National Broadband Network, according to construction industry heavyweight David Chandler.
Mr Chandler, who was the deputy chairman of Labor's $14 million inquiry into the school buildings stimulus scheme, said Senator Conroys attempt to blame NBN delays on contractors was an "awful attempt to rewrite history".
Addressing an Australian Computer Society event in Sydney on Friday, Senator Conroy cited a "failure of the construction industry to mobilise resources" for the NBN's woes.
But Mr Chandler said the NBN delays were a result of a lack of skills within the former communications department and an "arrogant indifference" from Senator Conroy's office regarding solving problems when they arose.
"The reality is that the NBN was treated as a political football," Mr Chandler said. "Its priorities were cynically set to focus on marginal electorates while achieving value for money ran second to meeting a political agenda."
Mr Chandler, who was in 1989 awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to the construction industry, said another major flaw with the NBN had been an over-reliance on "high-priced" third party consultants who had little "direct construction and engineering expertise".
He said the NBN was similar to Labor's $16.2 billion Building the Education Revolution scheme, in that it highlighted the ALP's inability to effectively implement its "thought bubbles".
Senator Conroy on Friday admitted the project, which has repeatedly missed rollout targets, was "overly ambitious".
I used to speak with Senator Conroy on the radio quite a bit. In this interview from 2011 I quizzed him about Mike Quigley's competence and lack of experience in running a telco operating business.