Senate agrees to seek out NBN plan

 

Has Gillard jumped the gun?

Greens and independent senators have attacked the Government over reports it will not hand over the NBN business plan until next month, despite a Senate order compelling them to do so by the end of the week.

The Senate this evening passed the motion brought by the Greens to force the Government to release the NBN business plan and the Government's response to the $25m NBN implementation study this week before Senators are due to debate the Telstra split bill.

But reports have emerged on ABC News that Prime Minister Julia Gillard has ruled out making the documents public until after parliament finishes sittings for the year.

The suggestion earned a rebuke by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam.

"If reports are to be believed, the Australian Government is refusing to hand over the business model and case for the NBN and refusing to hand over the Australian Government's response to the NBN implementation study," Ludlam said.

"It's completely unacceptable while this parliament is meeting this fortnight and debating this issue for the Prime Minister to say 'You can have that document for Christmas. We'll wait until you've all gone home, and once it's been hit by the black felt marker and well after parliament has gone up and can no longer debate it [we'll release it]," he said.

The motion also attracted "strong support" from key South Australian independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

"For those who believe in the NBN, the Government is alienating those supporters," he said.

"It is burning up goodwill.

"I find it extraordinary these documents won't be made available and that we'll be asked to make decisions in an information vacuum [which] is unacceptable."

The Government had until the end of the week to comply with the Senate motion or find itself in contempt of the Senate.

Opposition Communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull also added his voice late today to the tide of criticism over Gillard's announcement.

"It is increasingly plain how desperate Labor has become to shield the NBN from appropriate scrutiny," he said.

"The Government will say or do anything to obstruct transparency and avert independent analysis of the most expensive public infrastructure project in Australian history."

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


Senate agrees to seek out NBN plan
 
 
 
Top Stories
Meet FABACUS, Westpac's first computer
GE225 operators celebrate gold anniversary.
 
NSW Govt gets ready to throw out the floppy disks
[Opinion] Dominic Perrottet says its time for government to catch up.
 
iiNet facing new copyright battle with Hollywood
Fighting to protect customer details.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
In which area is your IT shop hiring the most staff?




   |   View results
IT security and risk
  26%
 
Sourcing and strategy
  12%
 
IT infrastructure (servers, storage, networking)
  22%
 
End user computing (desktops, mobiles, apps)
  15%
 
Software development
  26%
TOTAL VOTES: 333

Vote
Would your InfoSec team be prepared to share threat data with the Australian Government?

   |   View results
Yes
  57%
 
No
  43%
TOTAL VOTES: 138

Vote