Conroy behind $450k NBN hire

Conroy behind $450k NBN hire

Summary: NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley picked Mike Kaiser, former advisor to Queensland Labor Premier Anna Bligh, as NBN Co government relations and external affairs chief following a suggestion by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

TOPICS: NBN, Broadband

NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley picked Mike Kaiser, former advisor to Queensland Labor Premier Anna Bligh, as NBN Co government relations and external affairs chief following a suggestion by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

Mike Quigley

Mike Quigley
(Credit: Alcatel-Lucent)

The revelation was made in Senate Estimates today when Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher quizzed NBN Co and the communications minister on the appointment of Kaiser, who was revealed to have been given remuneration worth $450,000 a year.

"I suggested [Kaiser] as a possible person with the relevant experience," Conroy said. Kaiser began work 1 December.

CEO of NBN Co Mike Quigley also said that no advertisements had been placed, and no candidates were shortlisted for the position.

"We made an assessment against what we think the job needed to have," Quigley said. He said that over 40 per cent of permanent employees of the company had come by way of referral.

Conroy was the only one to have referred Kaiser to Quigley, which surfaced under cross questioning by Fisher.

Senator Fisher: Did anyone else suggest Mr Kaiser to you?

Mike Quigley: Not that I recall.

Senator Fisher: So the minister was the only person to raise Mr Kaiser to you?

Mike Quigley: As far as I recall.

"The process was not dissimilar to what we've used for many other employees," Quigley said defending the hire.

When the name was raised, Quigley passed it on to human resources who organised two interviews and some reference checking.

"I think then I interviewed Mr Kaiser and the conclusion was he would be a good person for the job."

Topics: NBN, Broadband

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  • Experienced Media Advisor

    Talk about your "Good O Boy" network. We sure have it here. Who really qualifies in heading the NBN network other then a long time professional who has worked in the management area of one of the worlds Telcos who supplies Internet and more services and other provisions. It seems that just because he accidently got the role of PR for Anna Bligh and then quit, along with having no direct media and internet and business industry training, experience or knowledge; what makes him qualified? I know this recently friendship with this young Jamacan man who can quickly analyze your computer's problems within 5 to 10 seconds and fix it, well within the time you can make yourself a cuppa:-).
  • "Jobs for the Boys"

    This just proves what a sham this NBN really is! Oh Lord please let us not waste one more Taxpayer dollar on this $43 Billion dollar "white elephant"!
  • Jobs for Labor con men

    Conroy thinks he is the emporer or Australia - he appoints sketchy mates in high paying jobs - does publically funded studies and refuses to pulicly release them if they don't play his tune and wastes millions of our hard earned dollars on unviable technically inept projects like the internet filter and the NBN. A true rotten apple hanging in rotted tree.
  • It's not the NBN in this case...

    It's the crooks that are splashing out public money to keep their mates employed.

    Oh hang on, there's only one crook here isn't there - and there always has been.

    How in God's name, does this conman/crook/serial liar stay in his job? He's a national liability!
  • Certainly looks like "Jobs for the Boys"

    What a farce....and why do we have to put up with it ! The way Conroy has been handling the whole NBN thing (IMHO) is a bloody joke, and yet he continues to get away with it. Who the hell does he think he is ?

    Unbelievable !!!
  • Minchin says it all...............................!!!

    "It is absolutely outrageous that a spin doctor for Labor's NBN Co is being paid $450,000 per annum by Australian taxpayers to promote a company that generates no revenue, has no customers and provides no services to anybody."

    "The Rudd Government is spending taxpayers' money on this shell of a company with reckless abandon. Most Australians would be shocked that their taxes are being used to pay these extraordinary salaries to employees of this new government entity," Minchin said. "The $43 billion extravaganza that is Labor's NBN is becoming more scandalous by the day."
  • Why do people keep saying $43 Billion?

    Why do people keep saying the $43 Billion NBN?

    No proper costing has been done as far as I can tell. If its like the "every child will have a laptop" promise then it could be under funded by as much as 50% or more.

    Let be realistic about this. It will cost far more than $43 Billion, especially if it keeps hiring mates on half million dollar salaries. And as the money starts to rapidly evaporate the NBN promise will morph and change into a VEN (Very expensive Network) and so more mates will need to be hired for their "expert" advice and "experience".

    And the taxpayer will keep paying and paying and paying. I hope my kids finish school before they start trimming money from other budgets to prop up the VEN!! And I hope my health holds out too. Imaging what $43 injected in to the health system could have done.
  • thats not the bit you should mention

    Kaiser was booted out of the government here in Q for branch stacking.

    presumably that was the 'qualification' conroy looked at along with Labor membership.

    this is a dirty, dirty, corrupt appointment. Rudd needs to boot this joker, he is gaffe prone and has no understanding of his folio as evidenced by this, reactions to iinet case, OPEL (who remembers rural aussies might have better internet now if it werent for him?) the Censorship debacle and the whole NBN mess.

    this is absolutely a sinecureship as thanks for being a stalwart labor boy, and absolutely disgusts me.
  • re Why do people keep saying $43 Billion?

    And yet there are still so many Telstra bashers out there, whinging about what Telstra charges, and praying for the NBN to happen, cos they think is is going to save them heaps. They must be dreaming !!! Who did they think would be footing the bill (if it ever happens). But even if it doesn't get off the ground, the "boys club" will have been well and truly paid off, and we will all
    be in debt up to our ears.
  • umm

    even telstra supports the nbn, its just you and a few other fanbois who want to keep their heads in the sand. but you keep up the fight.
  • re certainly

    new name mike, what was wrong with the old one? too many people already knew what a moron you are. probably best to start fresh, haha.
  • Conroy

    Every day this clown does his best to sabotage communications in this country. I think we are overdue for minister who actually understands the field and can do something positive with the position.
  • What does he do?

    What exactly does a Government Relations and External Affairs Chief do?

    450k is pretty good. Is there a course I can do?