Greens sit on fence for coalition NBN Bill

Greens sit on fence for coalition NBN Bill

Summary: The Greens today released a wary statement in response to Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull's push for a National Broadband Network (NBN) analysis.


The Greens today released a wary statement in response to Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull's push for a National Broadband Network (NBN) analysis.

"The Australian Greens Party Room will consider whether this is a serious bid for relevance and transparency, or another in a long line of coalition delaying tactics designed to destroy the network," said Greens Communications Spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam.

Turnbull has proposed a coalition private members Bill in order to force an NBN cost-benefit analysis. In response, the government accused the Opposition of engaging in delaying tactics.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy claimed that NBN Co would submit a publicly released business plan to government shortly.

Topics: Government, Broadband, Government AU, NBN

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Can't see the point except for politicians to big-note themselves. We won't know any better than a rough estimate the cost of laying a cable to a country town until we get there. And the benefits depend on whatever we imagine the cable being used for, and on what timescale. And some of the social benefits are inherently difficult to put a $value on anyway. Just one example, how valuable will the system really be in having doctors sight their patients, instead of relying on a phone call? Don't know until we see it in use, and even then it depends on quality of the user's webcam, and availability of doctors, which is surely beyond the scope of the CBA.
  • Totally agree!
  • The purpose of a CBA is not to decide whether or not we should proceed, it's whether the current model proposed by Conroy is the best bang for our buck, when compared to various alternatives. Conroy wanting to ram this project through ASAP is just as concerning as Turnbull's politicking; however on a project with such a large spend, I think it is well worth it.
  • Well mwil19, that's exactly what the opposition are claiming in regards to such an analysis and ironically that was even Mr. Turnbull's exact word...proceed!

    "And although the Opposition has called for a cost-benefit analysis on the National Broadband Network, Turnbull said he wouldn't commit to support the $43 billion project in the "unlikely" event that such an analysis concluded fibre-to-the-home should proceed".

    So as you can see, the coalition are wanting a CBA to find any excuse they can to support their pre and post election FUD and to call for the NBN "not to proceed"...!

    Until they become fair dinkum about a fair dinum CBA, it is all worthless politicking, imo.

    Interestingly though, the ACCC Chairman, Graeme Samuel, says a CBA is unnessary and will prove nothing. So coming from the head of the "arbitrators of fairness and equity" that should mean something!
  • For once I actually agree with you RS! If a CBA is going to be used for point scoring then it's largely pointless. Given that the NBN is going to happen, I think that the focus of a CBA should be looking at how the beast will be rolled out, managed and costed.

    It should be conducted by a third party with the findings delivered to both sides of the fence (as well as the public). The focus should be on getting the most bang for tax payers buck.

    I don't like Turnbull's aggressiveness on this issue, but I'm equally concerned about Conroy's lack of disclosure. I think they both forget it's our money.
  • @mwil19, you note correctly that "if a CBA is going to be used for point scoring then it's largely pointless." Since a CBA would have to cover all the expected long life of the NBN, it would have to include a very wide range of possible outcomes. The government will seize on the most favourable one, the opponents on the least favourable - and nobody will know for many years who was right.

    So what on earth is the real benefit of conducting an expensive and time-consuming CBA (except to the handsomely paid consultants, and the FUD spielers)?
  • Gnome,

    A CBA will look at the different alternatives in order to see whether the benefits outweigh the costs. An effective CBA (not a political one) will compare the current rollout of NBN with other options to ensure that taxpayers get the most bang for our buck. Given the amount of tax I pay, I'd welcome any analysis that ensures it isn't wasted.

    After the mismanagement of public funds under several large projects in the Rudd government, I would have thought the Gillard government would welcome the opportunity to shake of the reckless spending reputation that the Libs have hit them with lately.
  • Such benefits are not beyond the scope of the CBA, it is a known benefit with a known cost saving, why do you make such a statement?
  • Actually the ACCC Chairman did not say that at all.,samuel-seeks-distance-from-cost-benefit-debate.aspx

    Good try anyway RS.
  • I'm talking about what Graeme Samuel physically said.

    He even went as far as to say, "a CBA is not possible/no one in the world could do an accurate CBA" - but feel free to be pedantic over the exact words I used (since you are unable to comprehend the gist) and then you desperately go but, but, but...when you realise I am A G A I N right and you are A G A I N...wrong...!

  • Not according to Graeme Samuel and given the choice of his unbiased opinion and your unbiased [sic...LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] opinion, umm, I'd choose, ummm, Graeme!

    AGAIN -