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Pauline Hanson receives seat on NBN committee

After failing in a ballot to be part of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network, Pauline Hanson has been appointed to it after Senator John Williams was discharged.

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(Screenshot: Chris Duckett/ZDNet)

Pauline Hanson has been appointed to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network following the discharge of The Nationals' Senator John Williams from the committee.

Hanson's successful appointment to the committee, contained in a motion by Senator Mathias Cormann last night, came after the One Nation leader failed earlier in the day to be appointed to the position allocated to cross bench and independent Senators.

Senator Stirling Griff, who is a member of the Nick Xenophon Team, won selection to the Committee after a vote went in his favour 35-30 against Hanson.

On its policy page, One Nation does not list a broadband or communications-related policy, and instead rails against issues such as Agenda 21, Sharia law, and Halal certification of food.

The Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network was formed upon the resumption of parliament following the recent election, and contains 17 members made up of: four members of the House of Representatives nominated by the government whip; four members of the House of Representatives nominated by the opposition whip; one non-aligned member of the House of Representatives; three senators nominated by the leader of the government in the Senate; three senators nominated by the leader of the opposition in the Senate; one senator nominated by the leader of the Greens Party in the Senate; and one Senator nominated by minority or independent senators.

The committee will be chaired by the government, with an opposition member to serve as its deputy.

On Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull claimed the reworking of the NBN under the Abbott/Turnbull governments was a great achievement.

In response, Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said Turnbull is incapable of defending his NBN mess.

"He gave the lecture he loves to give about how he knows everything. But what he is missing is the knowledge that we on this side of the House have, and that is the lived experience of our constituents, the lived experience of those people we represent, who have been let down, who are living in broadband backwaters and who cannot in many cases even get basic internet standards," the shadow minister said.