Shadow Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has labelled the Government’s 36-page NBN Co business case summary as “curiously inadequate”.
Turnbull was responding to the 36-page NBN Co business case summary released by the Government today. It claimed the capital expenditure would was $37.5 billion and not the $43b previously stated.
“The Telstra deal is going to save them only about $1.7billion I think on capex,” he told 4BC Radio. “It’s going to save them a lot more in terms of reducing their operating losses. But how would you know? This business case summary is wholly inadequate. It doesn’t include a profit and loss statement, it doesn’t include a cash flow statement, it doesn’t include any balance sheets.
“If you went along with a document as breezy as this to a bank, with fifty grand to upgrade your café, you’d be chucked out.”
But Turnbull indicated that even a full business case from the Government would not be enough to satisfy the Coalition.
“Even if you have the whole business plan – it isn’t sufficient because the real issue, the fundamental, the threshold issue is given we want to have affordable broadband available to all Australians, what is the most cost-effective way of delivering it?” he said. “The NBN is the single most expensive way of delivering.”
Turnbull also claimed Senator Nick Xenophon had not received much in exchange for taking a stand on accountability and transparency.
“It is a sop thrown to the independent Senators in the hope that they will give the Government their vote,” he said in a blog post. “Real accountability, real transparency requires a thorough and complete business case, not 36 pages of reassurance devoid of financial detail.”