Government-funded report judges NBN Co business case to be “reasonable”

Greenhill Caliburn executive summary backs up Government’s NBN Co business case arguments

The independent corporate advisor hired by the Government to judge NBN Co’s business case, Greenhill Caliburn, has deemed it to be “reasonable”, according to an executive summary released today.

According to the summary, the corporate plan was completed according to high professional standards with the level of detail and analysis expected from large listed public entities.

“Taken as a whole, the Corporate Plan for the development of the NBN is reasonable,” the report said. “Key assumptions underlying revenue and cost projections appear to be in line with a range of available domestic and international benchmarks.

“We believe that the Corporate Plan provides the Government with a reasonable basis upon which to make commercial decisions with respect to NBN Co.”

But the Opposition’s previous statements criticising the Plan’s key assumptions are likely to remain, with Greenhill Caliburn keen to point out its judgement is based on them remaining true.

“Changes to underlying revenue assumptions have the potential to materially affect the return profile for NBN Co,” it said. “Our Report does not purport to evaluate the Government’s NBN policy objectives, nor does it undertake a returns or cost-benefit analysis of the implantation of the NBN.”

The Government had previously refused to release the Greenhill Caliburn report citing commercial confidentiality.

Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, said in a statement the report was further proof NBN Co's assumptions were correct.

"The Greenhill Caliburn report confirms NBN Co's key assumptions underlying revenue and cost projections which provide the Government with a reasonable basis on which to make commercial decisions about the NBN,” he said.

"As with any infrastructure project, there are always risks, contingencies and external factors and the Government will work closely with NBN Co to put in place agreed performance indicators to track its performance and adjust strategies or operations as needed."

More to come.