NBN could not be privitised: Clive Palmer

Mining magnate and leader of the Palmer United Party, Clive Palmer, says that he does not see how government would get a return on any future NBN privatisation.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

In the upcoming Australian election set for September 7, only three parties have candidates on the ballot in every electorate: Labor, Greens, and the newly formed Palmer United Party led by Clive Palmer.

On a wide-ranging Google Hangout hosted by The Sydney Morning Herald, Palmer was critical of the idea of any future privatisation of the NBN

"I don't think it is a good thing to privatise things that we have government for — the reason we have government is so that we can do certain things better together, than we can do them separately — such as health, schools and education, and defence," he said.

"As far as the NBN goes, I don't think you could privatise it, because of the amount of money that's been spent on it doesn't give a return to anybody, least of all the Australian taxpayer."

Palmer, who has financed plans to build the Titanic II and a dinosaur park packed with 160 animatronic dinosaurs, called on the government to be prudent in what it does, and to protect the money in the public purse.

"What's wrong with the NBN and the way that Labor approached it was that it was decided on a plane without any forethought, and it was done really to win votes, than to think it right through. It's been a bit of a disaster.

"If we are going to do large projects or things for the country, we need to take our time, properly plan it, properly cost it, and make sure it is something that is a considered decision. It doesn't mean we shouldn't do these things; it means that the manner in which we do them must be in the best interest."

The mining magnate, who is standing for the seat of Fairfax, said he isn't sure that the problems and delays encountered during the network's rollout are due to the technology used or its implementation, because he does not have access to the detailed information of the project.

The Palmer United Party is set to launch its policy manifesto on the weekend.

Palmer had previously been a life member and financial backer of the National Party.

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