MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
SENATE REPRIMANDS FLETCHER AND NBNCO FOR EVADING SENATE SCRUTINY
The Senate has today reprimanded Minister Fletcher and NBNCo for delaying responses to 34 questions on notice, which are now 58 days overdue.
Liberal Senator Jane Hume was called to explain the delays under Senate standing order 74(5), who then claimed the Minister’s own Department was blaming NBNCo for repeatedly refusing to answer.
What convenient buck passing to delay the release of information that Minister Fletcher wants to suppress!
It’s bad enough Australia has been saddled with a second-rate NBN that is $27,500,000,000 over budget and four years behind what the Liberals and Nationals promised.
It’s even worse that after seven years of cost blowouts and rollout delays, up to 238,000 households still can’t get the minimum broadband speeds required under law.
Since the copper backflip, the Liberals and Nationals have sought to prevent the Senate and the media from scrutinising changes to NBNCo’s underlying financials.
Things have gotten so bizarre that the NBNCo CEO won’t even let the company’s Chief Financial Officer answer questions directed to him during Senate hearings.
The questions put to NBNCo largely focus on financial information omitted from the 2021 Corporate Plan, and taxpayer-funded bonuses paid to staff.
The lack of respect shown for Senate accountability is unacceptable, and Labor will not permit the Minister to treat taxpayers like fools.
The 2021 Corporate Plan omitted key financial information that had been published in previous Corporate Plans.
The release of the Corporate Plan was delayed by three weeks until after Minister Fletcher announced his copper backflip at the National Press Club on 23 September 2020.
TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2021