Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said there will be no delay to the roll-out of the National Broadband Network to fund the Queensland flood recovery despite calls from the Federal Opposition to scrap the project in light of the disaster.
The recovery effort from the Queensland flood disaster is expected to cost the Federal Government approximately $5.6 billion, but Gillard told journalists at the National Press Club in Canberra today that funding would not come from delaying or cancelling the $36.5 billion NBN project.
"Australians rightly expect their government to be able to do more than one thing at the same time," she said. "So 2011 remains a year when I will be delivering the National Broadband Network, creating more opportunity through education reforms, improving healthcare and a year when I will make long-term decisions on increasing participation and pricing carbon. That's my job and that's what I'll do," said Gillard.
Instead, the government plans to fund the recovery through the delay of a number of projects including six road projects in Queensland, scrapping a number of environment tax rebate initiatives and introducing a one-off tax levy of between 0.5 and 1 per cent for income earners earning over $50,000 per annum.
The Minister for Public Works and Information and Communication Technology Robert Schwarten's office also told Computerworld that all government departments will be reviewing projects, including those related to information and communications technology.