Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, and Treasurer, Wayne Swan, have both come out to criticise Turnbull’s $10 million dollar investment in web hosting company, Melbourne IT. They said Turnbull in fact supports the NBN since Melbourne IT has openly said it would reap benefits from the NBN.
Speaking on 2GB radio, Turnbull said he is holding the NBN to account, despite a company he invests in would gain from the network, proves he is an honest person.
“[T]he fact that I am holding the NBN up to account and endeavouring to stop $43 billion being wasted would just show that I am a person of great integrity whose personal investments don’t influence his public policy,” he said. “…They’re criticising me for putting my public duty ahead of what they claim is my financial interest.”
Turnbull pointed out some Labor members have shares in Telstra, which is set to pocket $11 billion through a non-binding agreement to decommission its copper lines and migrate consumer customers onto the NBN.
The Shadow Communications Minister took the opportunity to lash out at a deal the Federal Government struck with the Greens which involved submitting the sale or privatisation of the NBN to be assessed by the Productivity Commission.
The NBN would be opened to be privatisation five years after its construction.
“So they want to have the Productivity Commission Inquiry into whether you would sell the $43 billion investment well into the future but not to have it done as to whether you should make the investment in the first place,” Turnbull said. “It is bizarre, and this is why right around Australia, even people that think they are pretty sympathetic and they think it probably sounds like a good idea, even those people are saying ‘hang on, shouldn’t we do our homework first? Shouldn’t we have a good look at this, this is a lot of money’.”