Coalition "outrage" at Greens NBN deal

 

Productivity Commission caught in middle.

The Coalition has expressed "outrage" that the Federal Government will allow the Productivity Commission to examine the NBN only after the multi-billion dollar network is completed.

The Government struck a deal with the Greens overnight that would require a parliamentary vote and an independent study by the Productivity Commission before the NBN could be privatised, according to a report by The Australian.

In return, the Greens would support the Government's ‘Telstra split' bill being debated in the Senate today.

The agreement over a Productivity Commission study outraged the Coalition, which had repeatedly sought a cost-benefit analysis of the NBN to be conducted by the Commission.

It lost a motion in the lower house seeking to force the Government to submit to a Productivity Commission study before the network was built.

South Australian Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham told the Senate today that it was the "irony of all ironies that the Government is willing to accept a Productivity Commission assessment of the NBN once it's finished building it to determine if it can be privatised."

"The fact is they have agreed on a dodgy deal with the Greens which is, of course, an outrage and something the Government needs to look hard at," Birmingham said.

He said the Coalition would seek amendments to the Telstra split bill today; however he noted that "most of these have been covered and countenanced in the House of Representatives already".

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