The Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network (NBN) has been given an extra month to hand in its report on the Federal Government's plans to fibre up the nation.
The committee's report deadline had already been pushed back to allow it to consider draft legislation for the network. It was also the hope of the committee that it would have time to look at the implementation study which was released just before the budget.
Because the report deadline was yesterday, in the end there was little time to carry out detailed analysis. The Opposition therefore asked that the deadline be extended.
The Greens backed this request despite a history of proposing that Senate Committees be closed down; Party spokesman Senator Scott Ludlam didn't mince words when stating the party's reasons for doing so.
"We made this decision about the implementation study, for which the Senate sought an order for production nearly two months ago now, [because] the minister held that back until the very last minute, arguably to prevent the select committee from having the time to go through the assumptions, the costing and the models that have been produced. This deprived the select committee of the opportunity to test some of those assumptions," he said.
With the Greens' support, the motion was passed. The committee is now set to report on 17 June.
The committee was first established in June 2008 to look into the government's original fibre-to-the-node National Broadband Network proposal. Its scope was then changed to look into the new fibre-to-the-home plan, which Prime Minister Rudd announced in April last year. It has already provided three interim reports, one in 2008 and two last year.