“At this stage of the game the details of the proposal should still be kept private. The processes and the timing should be public but it’s probably too early for revealing details if there is still a great deal of negotiating and potential change to come,” he said.
“Otherwise you just get confusion so I’m not that sure the criticism is justified. There is a role for privacy and private negotiations in the process at this stage."
Despite delays in the process, Senator Conroy said it was more important the NBN was built right.
“But the other part of the debate is that the public isn’t sure what he [Senator Conroy] has in mind with the word ‘right’,” Brooks said.
Opposition shadow minister for communications, Nick Minchin, said the secrecy made a mockery of Senator Conroy’s promise that the NBN process would be open and transparent.
He dismissed Conroy’s claims that public scrutiny would prejudice the process as “complete nonsense”.
Minchin called on the government to release as much detail as possible from both the expert panel and the ACCC for public comment before the NBN tender was awarded.