June was a volatile month for the NBN with revelations of asbestos problems and the resignation of communications minister, Stephen Conroy.
Conroy resigned after Kevin Rudd returned as prime minister. He was lauded by many as the country’s finest ever communications minister, with his resignation seen as a great loss to the Labor front bench.
However, the recent emergence of asbestos on some NBN work sites has thrown a political cloud over the program.
The opposition is demanding a full review of the the situation, while Telstra has pulled some of its workers and taken responsibility for the problem The company has also promised to review its pay rates to ensure subcontractors don’t shirk their safety responsibilities.
According to the ABC, many analysts expect there to be a series of lawsuits from members of the public exposed to asbestos due to negligence by NBN contractors.
Union officials are also looking into the issue and may issue stop-work edicts that could further disable the roll-out.