MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
AFTER $51 BILLION AND SEVEN YEARS OF LIES — WE NOW KNOW FIBRE WAS BETTER AND CHEAPER ALL ALONG
Minister Fletcher has today confirmed what many have always known: the Liberal-National Government has been misleading Australians about the NBN for the past seven years.
After spending $51 billion on second-rate technology, endless attacks on Labor, and seven years wasted, today vindicates that not only was Labor’s original fibre plan better — but it was cheaper too.
The blatant mistruths propagated by Malcolm Turnbull, and Paul Fletcher as his Parliamentary Secretary, have extracted a significant and unnecessary price on Australian taxpayers and consumers.
Australian households and businesses will have to endure a second NBN migration, and taxpayers will unnecessarily cop billions for duplicating the cost and time of the rollout.
The course has finally been corrected and that is welcome, but these unnecessary costs and disruptions would have been avoided under Labor’s original plan.
Whether it is broadband or energy, the Liberals and Nationals get every big call wrong.
They will shamelessly put themselves and politics before the national interest, and are willing to mislead Australians at any expense.
For Minister Fletcher to claim these upgrades are possible because of the financial performance of NBN is nothing short of an insult to the intelligence of the Australian public.
The Government’s 2017 NBN Corporate Plan said NBN would earn $5.0 billion in revenue in FY2020. Today NBNCo will report $3.8 billion for FY2020.
NBN has not yet earned a single cent in free cash flows.
Further, the multi-technology mix costs at least $21.5 billion more than promised, costs more to operate, generates less revenue, and is more exposed to 5G competition.
The original fibre rollout would have generated at least half a billion more in cash flows per annum, according to Malcolm Turnbull’s own documents.
After spending $51 billion on a one-lane copper highway that is barely complete, the Liberals’ are now overbuilding it with the fibre network that should have been built to begin with.
This is the holy grail of technological and financial incompetence.
WEDNESDAY, 23 SEPTEMBER 2020