NBN Co CEO, Mike Quigley, has claimed three Tasmanian board members that lost their positions were not dropped due to bad performances.
Senior sources close to NBN Tasmania have claimed the removal of the board members came on the back of a deteriorating relationship between TNBN Co and the Aurora Energy.
Aurora Energy is owned by the Tasmanian Government and was ditched as a joint venture partner in late 2009. It has since become a procurement agent.
Sean Woellner, Mark Kelleher and Dr Dan Norton were appointed by Tasmanian Premier, David Bartlett, in August 2009. Some board members, such as chairman, Doug Campbell, have been on the team for more than one year.
“It’s absolutely unrelated to [bad performance]," Quigley said. “Dr Dan Norton took up another position and had to move on and Sean Woellner is doing work with Aurora.
“These guys came to the end of their period and they were appointed for one year. It’s not that some people were renewed and others were not, it’s just their appointments fell due.”
Quigley was keen to point out that while TNBN Co is currently operating as a separate company, its operations will inevitably be brought into line with NBN Co operations.
“We are a national body and Tasmania is part of the national rollout. Our shareholder decided to start some things earlier there so we set up a company there to get that going,” he said.
When asked if there was a drive to include more Tasmanians in the rollout or set future positions aside for locals in TNBN Co, Quigley said that had not been considered.
“No, no, NBN Tasmania is a 100 per cent subsidiary of NBN Co,” he said. “We haven’t really even thought about that because we’re just rolling the company forward.
“There’s nothing to be read into this one way or another.”
Although Jody Fassina is a Tasmanian resident and member of the board, the former ALP staffer and lobbyist has critics that claim he was appointed by Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, despite having few qualifications.