Conroy Demands Cost of Fixing His Uncosted Network
Senator Conroy’s claims that the Coalition needs to provide costings on how to fix his massive overspend on the National Broadband Network hits a new level of chutzpah, even by his very high standards.
This is, after all, the same man who:
- Committed to a $43 billion national Fibre to the Home network without any cost benefit analysis.
- Was telling Australians as late as last December that the $16 billion paid to Telstra would be included in the capital cost of the NBN
- Cancelled construction contracts because no tenders met his budget. He still has not locked in construction contracts for various second release sites, even though construction was slated to begin in the second quarter of 2011.
- Could not, until yesterday, tell Australians what they would be paying for internet services over the NBN. The retail price schedule published by Internode is up to 32% higher than the retail prices forecast by the NBN Corporate Plan.
As Senator Conroy knows, the Coalition cannot put a definitive dollar figure on the cost of sorting out his financial disaster because he has not released sufficient financial information for anyone, including Telstra shareholders, to analyse or understand the deals with Optus and Telstra.
And when the Parliament’s Joint NBN Committee sought answers from NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley about the cost of the construction contracts he claimed he cannot reveal those details because they are “commercial in confidence” – even though, by law, network providers will be unable to compete with the NBN.