Tuesday, 24 October 2017 11:37

'Shambolic' NBN has hit subcontractors hard, union claims

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Workers who are employed doing work on the national broadband network are being forced to deal with the disaster that the project has become, the Communications Union says.

CEPU communications division national president Shane Murphy said what he called Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's NBN was a "shambolic mess".

He said the Four Corners programme about the project had revealed a myriad problems, both for consumers and workers.

“The NBN was meant to be a critical piece of nation-building infrastructure, but at the moment it’s nothing more than a national embarrassment,” Murphy said.

“The NBN had the potential to be a world-class network and provide jobs and training opportunities for workers to develop new skills. Instead, we’ve ended up in a situation where we’ve got frustrated customers on a shonky network being held together with plastic bags and ringbarked cables.

“This is Turnbull’s NBN – a national joke."

Murphy said the Prime Minister could try to handball the blame but the reality was that the mess was all his making.

"We warned this government that this was coming, but the Prime Minister refused to listen. We’ve got thousands of subcontractors who are given no proper training and are being squeezed by principal contractors who are making billions at the taxpayer’s expense," Murphy claimed.

“This government’s flawed approach to this key infrastructure project is enabling that behaviour.

“Not only has the Prime Minister failed to deliver on his promises to deliver a better NBN faster and cheaper, he has failed the workforce by allowing the biggest pyramid sham contracting scheme the country has ever seen to flourish throughout the industry.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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