NBN builder drops NT work to focus on WA, SA


NBN builder drops NT work to focus on WA, SA

By business reporter Emily Stewart and staff, ABCUpdated March 20, 2013, 9:43 pm



One of the four major construction partners responsible for rolling out the National Broadband Network has pulled out from the Northern Territory.

Syntheo, a joint venture between Service Stream and Lend Lease, had been responsible for network building in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia.

Syntheo’s appointment as the Territory’s NBN contractor followed delays in the promised rollout timetable for the fibre network in parts of Darwin due to difficulty in finding a contractor.

It was revealed in Senate Estimates last month that the company was having trouble reaching its targets.

In a statement to the ASX, Service Stream says it will “hand back the remainder of its design and construction activities in the NT.”

It will continue to work with NBN Co in Western and South Australia.

Service Stream has also been forced to cut its financial year 2013 earnings guidance to $20 million and its share price fell 42 per cent to 22 cents by 3:45pm (AEDT).

A spokesman for the National Broadband Network says NBN Co will step in and directly employ subcontractors to do the required work in the Territory.

The Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says Syntheo’s withdrawal from the Northern Territory may speed up the company’s work in other parts of Australia.
“This will enable the NBN Co to take direct control of the rollout in the Northern Territory, allowing Syntheo to concentrate its resources on the rollout in western Australia and South Australia, bringing high-speed broadband to Australians in these states sooner,” he said.

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