According to the ABC, the Australian Federal Police currently raiding the Melbourne offices of the Labor party. The Shadow Minister for Finance, Manager of Opposition Business, Tony Burke has confirmed on ABC’s 7.30 tonight, that the raids are taking place. These raids relate to a spate of NBN leaks over the recent weeks and months, which some have speculated are timed to hurt the government during an election.
Burke went on to say there were allegations that documents had been leaked from the NBN. As we know the NBN poilicy on both sides of politics is incredibly contentious, especially the decision by the Government to adopt a mixed-mode solution feature a heavy reliance on fibre-to-the-node over the more expensive fibre-to-the-premises model.
The Government’s ‘faster and cheaper’ solution has been under fire as the recent leaked document suggest the Government funding may be exhausted this year, despite the project having a completion date in 2020.
“There’s no doubt the leaks that came from the NBN caused immense damage to Malcolm Turnbull when they showed that the cost blowout of the NBN, the fact that it was slower, the fact that it was going to be delayed,” Mr Burke said.
This is not the way to win the NBN policy debate.
Channel Ten’s National Political reporter, Adam Todd says Senator Stephen Conroy’s, chief architect of Labor’s FTTP NBN policy, had his office raided, along with a home of a staffer to Jason Claire.
AFP raids were on Stephen Conroy’s CPO office in Melbourne and the home of a Jason Clare staffer. About 20 NBN staff were interviewed.
— Adam Todd (@_AdamTodd) May 19, 2016
Sky News Australia program Paul Murray Live just had exclusive video of the raids taking place, as well as a clip of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s response to the raids.
“It’s entirely a matter for the AFP, as you know they operate entirely independently of the government, and so this is a matter for the AFP, the Labor party know that as well as you and I do.”
Overnight the AFP issued a statement confirming the raids were a result of the case being referred to them by NBN Co. The puzzling piece of that statement is that referral came in December 2015, which immediately raises questions. If the AFP know a leak occurred in December that lead to Fairfax publications publishing the leaked documents in February, why the gap in the timeline until late May to raid suspects?
— Primrose Riordan (@primroseriordan) May 19, 2016
This morning Sky News are confirming the warrant also made reference to Australian Financial Review, the Sydney Morning Herald and ABC.
Sky New reporter Kieran Gilbert this morning confirmed the list of items the police were looking for:
- Electronic storage devices
- Communications devices
or copies of any of the following:
- Email accounts
- Internet logs
- Personal records
- Government records
- SMS records
- Ministerial or parliamentary service records.