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Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Page: 669


Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (15:39): I move:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Communications, no later than noon on Monday, 9 December 2013, the Strategic Review of the rollout of the National Broadband Network conducted by NBN Co and due to be provided to the Government on Monday, 2 December 2013.

I seek leave to make a brief statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator LUDLAM: This is an issue of key importance, not just to people who follow telecommunications issues but also to the whole country. Prior to the election, the government—the then Rudd and then Gillard government and the Australian Greens—moved legislation through this place providing for the restructuring of the telecommunications industry and the construction of an end-to-end fibre-to-the-premises National Broadband Network. The extraordinary shambles that has ensued since this government took office, which has effectively swept anybody with any construction expertise out of NBN Co. and left us not really knowing what exactly is to come, could be resolved by the Senate getting its hands, and thereby the public's, on a copy of the strategic plan. It will not be good enough for Minister Turnbull to say that everything is commercial in confidence. The current government's proposal for the NBN should be put into the public domain and we have set a date for next Monday for that document to be tabled. (Time expired)

Question agreed to.