NBN Co snaps up $212m in equity

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NBN Co snaps up $212m in equity

Three-year plan to show long-term funding requirements.

The NBN Co will submit a three-year business plan to the Government by the end of May that will project the amount of equity it requires to fund construction both within that period and in the longer term.

Chief executive Mike Quigley told a Senate Select Committee hearing that the company had so far received $212 million in equity funding from the Government in three installments.

The business plan was due on May 31, some 15 days after the Federal Budget was handed down, prompting questions over whether NBN Co had already sought assurances from the Government that sufficient funding allocations would be made in the budget process.

Quigley said he was working within the initial $4.7 billion funding allocation announced at the NBN launch in April last year and "requesting [money] where we need it."

"Neither I nor the Board would commit the company beyond the commitments we have from the Government for equity injection," Quigley said. "It would be unwise for us to do."

He said the $4.7 billion purse was "sufficient so I don't have to concern myself about [funding] in the next little while."

Quigley also said that the Government was yet to knock back a request for further equity from NBN Co.

"We submit by May 31 a three year business plan to the government as a GBE [Government Business Enterprise]," he said.

"That will lay out our projections for the business long term. and the Government I expect will use that to have a look at the business plan, [see] if they agree with it, and no doubt we will have discussions about the long term funding assumptions that we have made in that business plan.

"It's a three year plan but for something of this magnitude we're obviously doing business planning on a longer basis than that because we need to look at the overall plan for the total project."

Quigley fielded questions on a broad range of topics in an intense 45-minute appearance before the panel, which again erupted into a public slanging over NBN Co's choice of government relations adviser, Mike Kaiser. Quigley largely stayed out of the political ruckus, leaving it to the panel to argue amongst themselves.

Quigley also confirmed he had a copy of the NBN implementation study, which has yet to be released to the public.

Quizzed about what he'd done with it, he said he'd "read it". Asked whether it made good reading, Quigley said it depended "on your bent in literature but I wouldn't say it's going to be a bestseller."

He refused to be drawn on the content of the study, saying it was up to the Government on what - if anything - was released.

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