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Opposition claims Labor 'crafted' NBN study

Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald today announced plans to request an investigation into Labor's delayed National Broadband Network (NBN) implementation report.
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Written by Jacquelyn Holt on

Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald today announced plans to request an investigation into Labor's delayed National Broadband Network (NBN) implementation report.

The senator said the study cost over $27 million, pointing out a press report claiming the government had prepared a revised version at a cost of over $2 million to taxpayers. Macdonald suggested the revision may have been an attempt by Labor to "craft" the report's findings.

"The Rudd Government paid a whopping $25 million to make up for its failure to even carry out the most basic of business plans — a cost-benefit analysis," he said. "A report in The Australian newspaper claiming the study was handed back to McKinsey to be 'reworked' at an additional cost of $2 million is alarming and suggests the government was determined to craft the outcome of the study."

Macdonald also announced his intentions to have the NBN Senate Select Committee investigate the report and its delayed release, arguing many elements of the NBN were overlooked.

"The study also failed to examine other critical elements of the National Broadband Network including implementation planning, engineering analysis, technology evaluation and roll-out planning," he stated. "It's clear the Rudd Government crafted the terms of reference for the report in order to get the least possible scrutiny of the economics of the now $38 billion project."

Labor's implementation study into the NBN was promised by Senator Stephen Conroy as long as six weeks ago, but was only released yesterday.

Some of the study's key findings included that the peak investment required by the government was expected to be $26 billion by the end of the seventh year of the roll-out, with $18.3 billion to be found over the next four years, via "appropriate provision" in the 2010/2011 budget. Telstra was also found to be unnecessary for the success of the project.

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