Senate debates

Thursday, 24 March 2011

National Broadband Network Companies Bill 2010; Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (National Broadband Network Measures — Access Arrangements) Bill 2011

In Committee

8:26 pm

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

Yes, $36 billion. I am not for a moment trying to take away from that, Senator Macdonald. I have not come prepared to debate those particular details. I would not want to give you misleading information on those. A range of those questions I will happily take on notice. They are not actually relevant to the bill. They are relevant to the general debate. I accept that they are legitimate questions to ask, but I have not come with information on the detailed corporate business plan. The disappointment is: why do you want to deliver a second-rate service to you traditional base? Why do you want your traditional base to be locked into a second-rate wireless network when we are going to build a world-best broadband network, Senator Joyce? Why are you prepared to let the Liberals twist your arm and make you betray your constituency? You came here as someone who wanted to represent your constituency against the oppression of the Liberal Party, yet you have folded to it like a deck of cards. You got on that front bench and, as soon as you got on that front bench, you became a tame cat like the rest of them. I am not going to waste the chamber’s time by debating at length with you the broad principles of the NBN. If you would like to talk about the legislation, I will happily spend as much time as you would like discussing the actual legislation, but I do not think it is a great use of the chamber’s time tonight to relitigate all the issues we have litigated over many, many hours in the chamber previously.

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