Labor forces embarrassing Government backdown

Labor has today forced an embarrassing backflip from the Government on legislation concerning Malcolm Turnbull’s second rate NBN.

In 2013, the Government commissioned a panel, led by Michael Vertigan, to review the “overall structure and regulatory framework for Australia’s future broadband market and the role of NBN Co.”

The Vertigan panel was discredited from the start. Instead of appointing Infrastructure Australia, Malcolm Turnbull appointed a collection of former Liberal Party advisors and strident NBN critics to tell him exactly what he wanted to hear.

Late last year the Government introduced a bill to implement the recommendations of this panel.

Today, the Government gutted its own bill in a humiliating backdown.

It didn’t just delete some of it—it deleted most of it.

The Vertigan legislation had eight parts—now it is reduced to only about three.

This is the first bill this Government has brought forward on the NBN in two and half years—and like the NBN itself—the Government has managed to stuff it up.

The mess the Government has made of this bill reflects the mess that has characterised their second rate NBN.

Malcolm Turnbull said that his second rate NBN would cost $29.5 billion – he has nearly doubled this cost to up to $56 billion.

Malcolm Turnbull said that his second rate NBN would reach every Australian by the end of 2016 – he has more than doubled this timeframe to 2020.

The cost of fixing the copper that makes Malcolm Turnbull’s second rate NBN work has blown out by more than 1,000 per cent.

Like this bill, the state of Malcolm Turnbull’s second rate NBN is embarrassing.

THURSDAY, 3 MARCH 2016

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