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150 media releases and Opposition still searching for policy.



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150 media releases and Opposition still searching for policy

Opposition communications spokesman Nick Minchin has reached a career milestone with the issue of his 150th portfolio media release, without establishing a single policy.

"Nick Minchin has proved a diligent publisher in Opposition but has failed to grasp the vital skill of policy development," said the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy.

"This milestone is the sole portfolio achievement of an Opposition bereft of communications policy, confused on the need for 21st century infrastructure and fascinated with past failures."

"While living in a policy vacuum, Nick Minchin has been happy to opportunistically criticise efforts to establish an enabling infrastructure for Australia’s future digital economy."

"Scare mongering on vital national issues such as broadband infrastructure, digital television, cyber-safety and our national broadcasters does nothing for public debate or good."

"Equally, taking tips from newspaper business pages and industry newsletters does not constitute policy or an alternate point of view for the Australian people."

"This is an opportunist Opposition struggling for relevance and Nick Minchin is publisher in chief."

Great Minchin publishing moments have included:

z Declared his enthusiasm for "digital switch-off" rather than the digital television

switchover being pursued by the Rudd Government (22 September, 2008). z Trumpets claims about National Broadband Network viability, despite his chief

advisor, Henry Ergas of Concept Economics, entering administration (22 April, 2009 and 2 September, 2009). z Claims no private infrastructure owner would have interest in the National

Broadband Network (25 June, 2009). z Raises hysteria about overhead fibre network deployment (31 May, 2009)

before declaring on ABC Radio the National Broadband Network won’t have the impact of previous cable deployments. z "Guarantee in perpetuity" $100 million annually from Communications Fund for

telecommunications upgrades, despite Coalition voting to abolish the fund (10 December, 2008, mysteriously vanished from Senator Minchin’s web site). z Claims the ABC and SBS Board open to political interference (11 November

2008), despite the implementation of the first ever independent, transparent and accountable selection process and Howard Government stacking boards

Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy MINISTER FOR BROADBAND, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE DIGITAL ECONOMY DEPUTY LEADER OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SENATE

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17/09/2009 http://www.minister.dbcde.gov.au/media/media_releases/2009/089

with political appointees.

Date: 15 September 2009 Contact: Tim Marshall 0408 258 457

Document ID: 120208 | Last modified: 15 September 2009, 3:55pm

Page 2 of 2 150 media releases and Opposition still searching for policy | Senator Stephen Conroy...

17/09/2009 http://www.minister.dbcde.gov.au/media/media_releases/2009/089