NBN construction partner Silcar to cut 250 jobs

NBN construction partner Silcar to cut 250 jobs

Summary: Major NBN construction contractor Silcar and its parent company Thiess will cut 250 jobs as part of an integration of the two companies.


Less than a month after having its AU$300 million contract renewed for the construction of the fibre network component of the National Broadband Network (NBN), Silcar's parent company Thiess has announced that 250 jobs will be made redundant.

Silcar, which had been jointly owned by Siemens and Leighton Holding's subsidiary Thiess, is now solely under control by Thiess. The construction company announced today that 250 jobs will go as part of the integration into Thiess.

"Our workforce will always vary through the phases of our contracts, and many of these redundancies are the result of this cycle," Thiess Services executive general manager Richard Kelleway said in a statement.

"Others are the direct result of the consolidation of two independent businesses and the creation of an optimised service delivery model for our clients."

An anonymous tip to ZDNet stated that NBN field scopers and designers on the AU$37.4 billion government project are being made redundant as part of a shift in focus to construction work on the NBN. A spokesman for Thiess said that the company would not comment outside of the prepared statement from Kelleway.

It comes as NBN Co's wireless network construction contractor Ericsson has received criticism for its decision to outsource some work on the project to China and India.

NBN Co's deputy chairwoman Diane Smith-Gander also announced today that she will resign from her position to become the new chairwoman for another NBN construction contractor, Transfield Services.

Topic: NBN


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Josh where's Phil Dobbie disappeared to?

    Quiet at ZDNet and commsday; I trust he's ok. Commsday had a interesting debate on Sunday with MT and Husic;

    "But NBN Co’s board minutes show the company used the geocoded national address file (G-NAF) database to make its modelling and predictions. G-NAF is a database of 13.2 million Australian addresses and NBN Co has previously admitted it is often highly inaccurate."

    Ouch! Josh I'd point to the Board's CEO search as further evidence of incompetency.

    "With the NBN rollout behind schedule, private operators have seized the opportunity to cherry-pick some of Australia's most lucrative fast internet installations, installing fast internet to thousands of inner-city apartment dwellers.
    The fast internet services being offered are close to opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull's fibre-to-the-node concept, where fibre-optic cable is run into apartment complexes and connected to the existing copper phone network entering individual apartments."

    Private sector delivering what NBNCo talks about. Thumbs up to Turnbull's FTTN (and without vectoring).

    BusinessInsider (AA) shows little interest in the NBN in Armidale. A shame given the money spent.

    Bad news impossible to ignore, quantity difficult to keep up with. But we plod away;-)
    Richard Flude
    • Vindication

      "OPENetworks managing director Michael Sparksman said installing a VDSL2 internet service to an apartment using copper cost about $200 - half for equipment and half in labour. In contrast, retro-fitting a fibre connection into a building could cost more than $5000 for each apartment."

      I'm off to bed.
      Richard Flude
    • They should talk to their sister site

      Gizmodo has a different view to BusinessInsider http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/08/does-armidale-really-hate-the-nbn/

      And what's the deal with all the pay wall links you keep posting? Can't find the info elsewhere?
      • View the same

        AA posted that Oz link a week ago, discussed here:


        Does little to support the demand for and commercial opportunities of the massive expenditure.

        Like most things in life news costs money to produce which must be recovered in the private sector; AFR, The Australian, Delimiter2. Not all the links are all paywalled. It is surprising that other sites (eg taxpayer supported) don't cover such news items but there's little I can do about it beyond paying for better news.

        The OPENetwork story is vindication of the free market position. NBNCo still having issues with MDUs, private sector delivering at a cost tiny fraction of FTTH, a third of MT proposed $1k per premises. You'd think it'd be all over the news given the savings;-)
        Richard Flude