The Australian Greens Party has described the Coalition's objections to the National Broadband Network (NBN) as "wrecking tactics" in a statement, confirming the party's commitment to the multibillion-dollar project.
"The Opposition's wrecking tactics in the telco sector have gone far enough. With the in-principle agreement signed between Telstra and the Commonwealth, Tony Abbott no longer has a constituency for blocking, delaying and avoiding reforms," Greens ICT spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said in a statement.
"This is exactly the sort of long-term investment we should be making to give Australia some kind of future beyond the mining boom.
"The NBN should go ahead, with priority for communities in regional areas, and it should absolutely stay in public hands so that we don't see another repeat of the debacle that followed the privatisation of Telstra," Ludlam said.
Earlier this week the Greens announced a voting preference deal it had struck with Labor for the upcoming federal election. Under the deal, Greens preferences in the House of Representatives flow to Labor and Labor preferences in the Senate flow to the Greens. The arrangement is expected to result in the Greens holding the balance of power in the Senate.
Should Labor be returned and the Greens hold the balance of power, the Liberal Party would be unable to delay the passing of legislation relating to the NBN.
Ludlam was quick to point out to The Australian that no policy deals had been arranged in this, and that his party is still opposed to Labor's planned mandatory internet filtering legislation.
"We're not doing policy for preferences at all. We're not doing it over a carbon pric(ing) and we're certainly not doing it over the net filter," he reportedly said.
The Coalition has yet to release its ICT policy, but has previously promised to scrap the NBN if it wins the election. The AustralianIT has reported that the party plans to announce a three-pronged broadband strategy, which would see a large part of the canned Opel WiMax network revived, stronger powers for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and the continuation of laying backhaul links to regions where Telstra has been the only supplier.