Former Labor communications minister Stephen Conroy says the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have told him they will search the Department of Parliamentary Services at Parliament House this morning for emails from Labor staffers over suspected leaks to the media about the National Broadband Network (NBN).
In May as the federal election got underway, the AFP raided senator Conroy’s Melbourne office and the home of a staffer of Labor’s communications spokesman Jason Clare.
Fairfax Media published stories claiming the NBN was “facing mounting delays and rising costs, according to a damning internal progress report“.
NBN Co. complained to the AFP about the leaks and chairman Ziggy Switkowski labelled the leak “theft”, used for “partisan attacks” that “wrongly tarnish our reputation, demoralise our work force, distract the executive, and raise doubts where there is little basis for concern”.
His comments were later criticised by the secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Dr Martin Parkinson.
Nine days ago, NBN Co. reported it was ahead of schedule and budgeted revenue projections, but posted a $2.4 billion loss.
Conroy called today’s AFP search “an extraordinary attack on the Parliament and its constitutional duty to hold the government of the day to account”, adding that it was “a shameful attempt by Malcolm Turnbull to hide his incompetent administration of the NBN”.
“NBN Co needs to explain how the AFP investigation it has initiated has any legal justification,” Conroy said.
“I will continue to assert parliamentary privilege over all material and information gathered as part of this investigation, including in the raid this morning.”
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