Abbott eyes NBN cable contracts for flood relief

 

Money ripe for diversion?

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has stepped up his campaign to divert NBN funds for flood relief by citing NBN Co's $500 million outlay on fibre as money that could have been used for relief efforts.

Abbott caused a storm last week when he suggested that the money needed for Queensland's flood recovery could be found by "reprioritising" spending on projects such as on the National Broadband Network.

The suggestion has been quashed by the Government and by commentators who said that much of NBN's funding is allocated from future budgets, limiting the amount of money that could be immediately re-used.

Abbott disagreed with that assertion on Radio 6PR yesterday.

"Well, there was $1.6 billion of NBN spending that was announced just a couple of days ago. So I don't think it's right that NBN spending is all in the future," Abbott said.

That billion dollar figure was related to contracts for the supply of fibre cables awarded by NBN Co last week.

The actual amount to be immediately spent on cables was $500 million, with the remaining money to be potentially spent over a five-year period.

Abbott conceded that "much" of the NBN spending was "off budget".

"But all of the tens and tens of billions of dollars of borrowing will be government guaranteed and there's something like $8 billion that will have to eventually come out of the budget for the NBN," he said.

"I'm all in favour of broadband but we've actually got a reasonably good broadband system that's being delivered by competitive markets.

"What we don't need is a nationalised monopoly and the point I keep making, even if it might be desirable at some point in the future to do better you don't renovate the bathroom when your house has just had the roof blown off and this [the flood] is the equivalent if you like of having the roof blown off the house."

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


Abbott eyes NBN cable contracts for flood relief
 
 
 
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)
  21%
 
End user computing (desktops, mobiles, apps)
  15%
 
Software development
  26%
TOTAL VOTES: 337

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

   |   View results
Yes
  58%
 
No
  42%
TOTAL VOTES: 142

Vote