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Conroy refuses to deny that the national broadband network could take 13 years.



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Wed, 15th October 2008 CONROY REFUSES TO DENY THAT THE NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK COULD TAKE 13 YEARS

Senator the Hon Nick Minchin Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

The Federal Government and the Minister for Broadband, Senator Conroy, have misled the Australian people over the proposed National Broadband Network (NBN).

Senator Nick Minchin, the Opposition spokesman, said today that Senator Conroy refused to reject comments by Telstra that the NBN could take 13 years, nearly 3 times as long as the Government’s promise.

Senator Minchin had asked the Minister to reply to recent comments by Telstra CFO John Stanhope that building the Government’s proposed NBN could take 13 years to complete.

“Why did the Government mislead the Australian people by claiming its Broadband Network would be built within 5 years?” asked Senator Minchin.

“Minister Conroy in the Senate this afternoon refused to answer this question, again hiding behind the farcical tender process with its 26 November deadline”, Senator Minchin said.

“Minister Conroy today dismissed industry’s suggestion that the global financial crisis will drive up the costs of the NBN, but continues to hide behind the process in regards to the time line”.

“If Minister Conroy can dismiss claims of rising costs in advance of the bid deadline, why won’t he discuss the time line for roll-out”, Senator Minchin concluded.