The company tasked with rolling out the Federal Government’s ambitious national broadband network (NBN) will employ thousands of staff while leveraging Australia’s contractor community to enable the project.
Speaking on a press conference call, organised by the Communications Alliance, NBNco executive chairman, Mike Quigley, said he would be looking to build up the organisation over the next six months in conjunction with planning the network and company structure.
“In the order of magnitude of the company, obviously as we have seen in the press, a large number of jobs will be created by this project,” he said. “We don’t expect the majority of those to be within the company. They will largely be leveraging the contractor community throughout Australia, which by the way is well developed and quite well skilled.”
Quigley said he expected NBNco’s potential headcount to be in the 1000s rather than the tens of thousands.
“Exact numbers we don’t know yet, but there will be, obviously tens of thousands of people employed one way or another as it moves forward.” (To listen to the entire press conference, click here)
When asked whether he would commit NBNco to joining the Australian Employment Covenant (AEC), which is a high-profile organisation set-up by mining magnate, Andrew Forrest, working to break the cycle of Indigenous Australian unemployment and poverty, Quigley was non-committal but did state the company would definitely employ indigenous Australians.
“We’ll be doing everything we can to try and make sure facilitate that and promote that as we move forward,” he said.
The AEC, which was announced by Forrest and Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, in August last year as an industry-led initiative to provide 50,000 jobs to Indigenous people and 50,000 workplace mentors, has previously called on the Federal Government to ensure the national broadband network (NBN) back its goals.
This week five extra senior staff were confirmed as joining NBN co:
- Christy Boyce (Head of Industry Engagement) – previously a principal at McKinsey & Co where she was a co-leader of its telecoms practice.
- Greg Willis (Head of Program Delivery) – a former Coles general manager program delivery
- Jean-Pascal Beaufret (Chief Financial Officer) – between 1999 and 2007 he was the director and chief financial officer at Alcatel-Lucent and was also a former senior official in France’s Ministry of Finance.
- Kevin Brown (Chief Human Resources Officer & Head of Corporate Services) – a former Nortel Networks Asia-Pacific business development head and Qantas executive general manager
- Tim Smeallie (Head of Commercial Strategy) – previously a Citigroup telecoms analyst
They join existing board members: Doug Campbell, Peter Hay, Siobhan McKenna, Diane Smith-Gander; Gene Tilbrook and Quigley.