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NBN To Defend AFP Raids

The National Broadband Network hierarchy is expected to come out firing today, as it seeks to mount a defence of its actions in encouraging the Federal Police to raid ALP offices and the office of former communications spokesman Senator Stephen Conroy.

The NBN hierarchy will be seeking to rebut claims that PM Malcolm Turnbull had sooled the Federal Police onto Labor personalities in a bid to boost the Coalition’s chances in the coming election – and hopefully to foil further leaks.

At the weekend Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, pictured, said the PM “is going after whistleblowers, and he’s smearing his political opponents.” “The public has the right to know the truth, and whistleblowers deserve protection,” Shorten told media at the weekend.

He noted a statement by Turnbull – then in Opposition in August 2009 – in which Turnbull said: “Whistleblowers and leaks are part of the Canberra culture. And many would say they’re a very important part. And without whistleblowers being prepared to reveal what they perceive as wrongdoings on the part of governments, then a lot of wrongdoing would go unrevealed.”

Friday’s raids followed a number of leaks over the past six months, including a leaked document in November that claimed that Optus’s HFC network was not fully fit for purpose; another in February claiming the NBN rollout was seriously delayed; and in March that trials of FttP with skinny fibre had found fibre to the premises was no more expensive than fibre to the node.

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