Even as Labor boasts of its NBN project, the 2013-14 Budget is an admission the project is failing.
Investment has been slashed, and as a result well over a million premises will not get NBN on the dates promised in the increasingly discredited NBN Co 2012-2015 Corporate Plan.
The Budget reveals Labor has cut its planned equity investment in the NBN between this financial year and 2014-15 by $3.5 billion, or 20 per cent.
The gutting of the NBN’s funding is a clear admission it is disastrously behind the schedule unveiled by Stephen Conroy and Julia Gillard only nine months ago, in August 2012.
On 19 April, CEO Michael Quigley told a Parliamentary committee NBN Co was running fibre past established homes and businesses at a cost of about $2300 per premise
If Mr Quigley’s figure is accurate, the huge reduction in investment means 1.5 million premises scheduled to receive the NBN by June 2016 will not have it by this date.
The Government must come clean today on which Australians expecting the NBN will miss out:
- Will the 1.5 million premises which will not now get the NBN on the promised timetable be residents of Wayne Swan’s seat of Lilley, Stephen Smith’s seat of Perth, Craig Emerson’s seat of Rankin, and Kate Ellis’ seat of Adelaide?
- Or will they be residents of Chris Bowen’s seat of McMahon, Joel Fitzgibbon’s seat of Hunter, Ed Husic’s seat of Chifley and Richard Marles’ seat of Corio?
Julia Gillard must level with the Australian people, and provide an open and honest account of who will be affected by NBN Co’s latest massive fail – a colossal shortfall in its construction rollout now recognised by the Budget cutbacks.
About $0.5 billion of the delayed NBN investment is made up in 2015-16, the last year where comparable figures are available.
Last night’s figures confirm precisely what the Coalition has said for the past four years: The Labor NBN is unaffordable within the currently claimed budget and undeliverable on the currently claimed schedule.
After almost six years, barely 20,000 premises are connected to the NBN fibre network, while 2 million households and businesses still can’t obtain fixed broadband at a speed capable of viewing a Youtube video.
If elected, the Coalition will complete the NBN sooner, more affordably and at less cost to Australian taxpayers.
The data below compares investment in NBN Co projected in MYEFO and the 2013-14 Budget: