NBN Co signs NT, SA construction deals

NBN Co signs NT, SA construction deals

Summary: The National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) announced it has signed construction contracts for the Northern Territory and South Australia, the last states and territories to be without such agreements.

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TOPICS: Broadband, NBN
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The National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) announced it has signed construction contracts for the Northern Territory and South Australia, the last states and territories to be without such agreements.

Syntheo, a joint venture between Lend Lease Group and Service Stream, has won a two-year, $141 million contract to build the NBN in SA and NT, with the option to extend the agreement for another two years, which would bring the estimated worth of the deal up to $341 million. NBN Co said the agreement had the same terms as those negotiated with contractors for other sections of the country.

NBN Co has signed agreements with Siemens-Thiess joint venture Silcar for Queensland, NSW and ACT; Transfield for Victoria; Syntheo for Western Australia, South Australia and Northern Territory; and Conneq Infrastructure Services for Tasmania.

"This contract completes the picture for the NBN as we are now in a position to start rolling out the National Broadband Network in every state and territory across Australia," NBN Co head of construction, Dan Flemming, said in a statement.

"In fact, work in South Australia and the NT is already underway. We engaged contractors on a temporary basis for on-site design and other preliminary site works so Syntheo can hit the ground running."

NBN Co said that design and preliminary works were underway in the Darwin and Adelaide suburbs of Modbury and Prospect, with the design and construction work to begin for 85,000 premises over the next 12 months. The average time from the start of works at a site to the activation of first services is around 12 months, according to the company.

NT and SA 12-month roll-out plan
(Credit: NBN Co)

NBN Co released its 12-month national roll-out schedule last month, which sees the company and its construction partners rolling out fibre past half a million brownfield homes and businesses.

Topics: Broadband, NBN

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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3 comments
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  • Good stuff! I knew NBN Co had something up their sleeve - and here we have it, nationwide coverage.

    I know it isn't being discussed by anyone, but there is a tantalising possibility that all the major contractors (Silcar, Transfield and Syntheo) could have the 2-year renewals in their contracts triggered in 2013 - before the caretaker period begins for the election.

    It would be a tactical move, and could be quite fairly argued that it was in the country's interest (just like the building of railways, highways or defence systems) through continuity of government service provision. There is no doctrine of Westminster government that requires governments to consider the policy proposals of an alternative government when making decisions at any time _before_ the start of a caretaker period. Governments make plans and commit expenditures all the time to programs that stretch beyond the current term of government - they have to!

    I do think the ALP would only do this if they knew they were likely to lose in 2013. And as things stand today, I'm rather less certain an inevitable ALP loss than at any time in the last year.

    If by mid-2013 the ALP thinks they have a chance, they will parlay the public support for the NBN and turn the election into a referendum on 21st century broadband infrastructure - for yes, vote ALP; for same old rubbish service, vote Coalition.

    If, on the other hand, the ALP knows it is going down with all hands in 2013, then they just might trigger the contract renewals. For one, it entrenches the NBN as a nation-building program for the future. For another, it sets up a strategy for the threatened double dissolution election to follow within 18 months (according to Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott - though Turnbull is wrong in his belief that it could take place as soon as 6 months after the 2013 general election - see Anthony Green's analysis for more details).

    I think the ALP - and especially the Greens - would absolutely be itching for a double dissolution. Tony Abbott talks a tough game - but the wrecking strategy is one that will wear thin on most voters, and I believe that betting the farm on a double dissolution has the great potential to backfire, with the Greens still quite likely to hold the balance of power at the end.

    Australian voters dislike extremism in politics - Howard got away with it by keeping the nasty stuff at arms length, and milking his avuncular image for all it was worth. Abbott can do neither. And the effect could be quite paradoxically to give the Greens a major shot in the arm, rouse their base and their many moderate supporters, by making the Greens seem like the party of moderation and prudence. What an achievement for Abbott that would be! Interesting times ahead, friends.
    Gwyntaglaw
  • Agree, although you missed one possibility, that Abbott may not even be leader when the next election passes. We have already seen signs that his 'No' stratergy is a ticking time bomb. Most notably with the mining tax. A majority of Australians actually agree with this tax but instead of providing a better alternative, his policy is 'No'. Ironically, he has now imposed a tax on all businesses by agreeing to the governments increase in superanuation, which the mining tax will fund (he has not declared how businesses will fund this increase).
    Idealy the opposition will want to fight the next election over broadband because its the only policy where they have a half baked alternative. There's a fair chance though, the government will be talking about carbon tax compo from now until the election.
    omega-b9c3d
    • I certainly agree that Abbott has boxed himself in with his adamant opposition to nearly everything. Time is certainly on the Government's side - as July 2012 rolls around and the sky fails to fall down, but people notice a bump from the compensation, the public support for a push to "repeal everything!" will evaporate. Just as the GST could never be repealed, neither will carbon pricing. And yes, the mining tax is overwhelmingly popular, and its repeal would enthusiastically be pursued by very few people not named Forrest or Rinehart.

      The superannuation backflip is a sign that the negativity is not going over well - but it has been handled without even a figleaf of fiscal responsibility. I'm getting a decided tortoise-vs-hare feel about this race.
      Gwyntaglaw