Senate debates

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010

In Committee

4:56 pm

Photo of Guy BarnettGuy Barnett (Tasmania, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I am particularly interested in group 3 of these coalition amendments with respect to competition, ensuring the normal operation of the Competition and Consumer Act, and note also the group 4 amendments, merit review, regarding the reviews by the ACCC. They have a lot of merit. They make a lot of sense. The issue of procedural fairness in group 5 amendments are also very thoughtful.

But in the broad, what we have learnt today, as a result of the release of this flimsy 36-page summary of the 400-page business plan, is that the cost of the NBN to this country’s taxpayers is a global cost increase of $6.5 billion. You have the total capital expenditure on the NBN estimated at $35.7 billion provided the deal with Telstra goes through—and we will not know that for many months yet—and that Telstra deal will cost $13.8 billion. So you have the total cost being $49.5 billion, and that is up from the $43 billion. That is a huge increase, a huge impost on the taxpayers here in this great country of Australia.

One thing I do note in that summary document is the connection rates. In Tasmania, what we do know is that it is 11 per cent. Out of the 4,000 people in Midway Point, Scottsdale and Smithton, there has been an 11 per cent connection rate.


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