Labouring under an NBN cost curve

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"Whether the NBN is constructed under the Conroy or Turnbull models it needs an industrial relations environment where management powers are not delegated to unions. So does the rest of Australia. Thanks to Ted Baillieu, Campbell Newman and Barry O’Farrell we will in time have such an environment on the east coast of Australia.

Well put Robert, and I hope you are right. But isn't WA looking at following the lead of the eastern states, and if we include a federal coalition government, unions may just be put back to where they belong, looking after the employment of workers, not dictating to employers how they run their business.

While on the subject, I hope Turnbull changes the NBN rollout to allow freedom of choice. Retain copper from node to house or the client pays for fibre from node the home. Personally, I don't need fibre, so why should I help pay for it.

"While on the subject, I hope Turnbull changes the NBN rollout to allow freedom of choice."
You will have choice. In fact you will have more choice then you have now. There are dozens of ISP's you can pick from. Dozens of phone companies you can pick from.
The idea of getting ride of the copper is because it is corroding and rotting. FTTN does not fix that problem.

The PPP model used by State Governments to avoid their responsibility has resulted in closed shop agreements between big construction like Leightons and big unions. The PPP model assumes transfer of risk to the builder. This is a sham as the all deals have been covered by the state either by take or pay or secret letters of comfort to bankers from government utilities.

This has resulted in high interest payments and high labour costs.

Remove the PPPs and costs may come back in line. At least the interest paid would be half.

State Governments have also gutted their engineering capability and this would need fixing.

Call me ignorant, but how can a $35 billion project by the government, be considered an off budget item?

NBN Off budget - someone said yesterday in BS according to global tax laws if the money is equity on a project that will make a return then it may go off budget. After the announcement of the NBN is was saddled with the political priority of bush first. The bush is the loss making part of the entire scheme. If it were run like a public company the most profitable parts would be targeted first to add to the cash flow to help roll out the rest. Also consider, no business case for the NBN (as if it were a government expenditure and not a commercial venture); a number of restrictions on competition (advertising, limiting points of interconnection , outlawing competitors) and creating a new monopoly to help it show a return; and also consider current cost overruns and delays in rollout targets.

At the start the NBN was supposed to make around the risk free bond rate (and be a place where investors would want to invest), now it appears it will not be profitable as planned. It looks like making a loss. So then now it or part of it should be considered part of the budget.

NBN is still popular among voters as it is off budget (as if the money for it is out of thin air), because voters have not been properly faced with additional taxes and cuts in services to fund it -- like the government will present to us for Gonski or NDIS. This goverment is just hiding the expense of the NBN now for their political purposes where the costs will jump out at us in due course.

There is no doubt we need to improve our broadband infrastructure, what’s at issue here is the how. Clearly the government have failed to address the real priority problems that are holding back general progress. The World Economic Forum’s 2012/13 Competitiveness Report shows how bad the things are, that they need to fix. It states that Australia’s most problematic factors for doing business are; “restrictive labour regulations, inefficient government bureaucracy, tax rates and tax regulation”.

In the detailed ratings, we rank 96th out of 144 countries for our burden of government regulation, just behind Chad and Suriname, 106 for total tax rate just behind Russia, 120th for our hiring and firing practices just behind Gabon , 123rd for the flexibility of wage determination just in front of Slovenia and 48th for wastefulness of government spending, just behind Estonia.

Hi Jeffrey - is there is a copy of the report available online?



Doesn't Senator Conroy have to answer for a lot. NBN, Press regulation. He seems to know when to pass the buck.. The cynic may suggest he orchestrated a lot of the events last week to hide.

Press regulation and freedom of the press, the big furore from those that wish to stifle and shut up any dissent from the line they push by media such as the ABC.
We are in actuality a captured Nation, for all the blood shed fighting for democracy which depends on an informed vote, not a manipulated vote, we are now skilfully guided in what to think and what to believe. The last vestiges of Democracy like the morning mist are being blown away

I suggest find out what we are throwing away at the behest of vested interests

You quote aspects that are in fact not a huge problem and can be adressed, however our core national communications infrastructure is not a short or easy issue, we have tried the private sector solution and it has been an abject failure.

As to why Rural first, it is not, it is equal rural and metro. The reason why is rural needs it desperately and the Coalition and private sector will ignore them, forcing increasing migration into the cities with increasing unaffordability and homelessness which will also force up labour costs just to enable the employees live and decrease viability and profitability of business.

Employees and workers have or will have families, mortages or rents, that need to pay their bills and live. They are not impersonal machines with no function outside of their employment

I understand that we have far too few fibre-splicing technicians.
Am I now to understand that the striking industrial muscle of this tiny band is holding back the NBN?