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Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Page: 178


(Question No. 510)

Mr Fletcher asked the Minister representing the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, in writing, on 18 August 2011.

Further to his answer to question in writing No. 392 (House Hansard, 16 August 2011, page 90), if, as the Minister indicated, the Implementation Study was not a feasibility study, why did the Government not conduct a feasibility study into the National Broadband Network before proceeding with this investment.

Mr Albanese: The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

As stated in response to Question No. 110, a detailed National Broadband Network Implementation Study undertaken by McKinsey & Company/KPMG was completed in March 2010 and publicly released on 6 May 2010.

The Implementation Study provided 84 recommendations for the government to consider, covering technology, financing, ownership, policy and market structure.

On 20 December 2010, the government released the NBN Co Limited Corporate Plan, which shows that the National Broadband Network will provide all Australians with world class broadband on a financially viable basis with affordable consumer prices. That is, the project is feasible if structured on the basis of a rate of return above the government bond rate.

The government made its investment decision to provide equity to fund the National Broadband Network on the basis of the advice of NBN Co that the project was feasible, supported by independent verification by financial advisory firm Greenhill Caliburn.