Senate debates

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Questions without Notice

Broadband

2:49 pm

Photo of Stephen ConroyStephen Conroy (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

Thank you. Those opposite fully understand that this is a live process. They choose to buy into the debate in this way, where they seek to try and make cheap political points to cover for the fact that they do not have a policy in this area. The national broadband network tender document is very simple; it is very clear. It is available on the website if those opposite would like to have a look. It makes it clear that that is the government’s timetable.

This is a bidding process. When proponents are campaigning to win the government’s tender process, which is what is happening at the moment, they are going to make a whole variety of claims. If those opposite want to buy into the debate and try and push one line or another, they are being the broadband vandals that they were when they had 18 failed broadband plans. In 11½ years those opposite had 18 failed broadband plans. They set up a process where they had no serious guidelines whatsoever, and they want to come into the chamber today and start to make cheap political points.

The tender document is live. Those opposite should well understand that we are not going to be drawn into a public commentary on matters that will be subject to ongoing negotiations as part of the national broadband network process. These will be matters of ongoing negotiations. Those proponents who want to campaign publicly, as I said— (Time expired)

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