NBN Committee gets stay of execution

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NBN Committee gets stay of execution

Five more weeks to consider the implementation study.

The NBN Senate Select Committee has another five weeks to hand down its final report before being disbanded, so that it can properly analyse the McKinsey-KPMG NBN implementation study.

The committee's request won the backing of the Greens yesterday to extend its planned report date from May 12, 2010 to June 17, 2010.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said it was about giving the committee "a little bit more time to investigate the implementation study", which the Government finally produced last week.

Ludlam said the Government "could have avoided" the extension being granted had it complied with a Senate order to produce the $25 million study about two months ago.

"The Greens have consistently proposed that the select committees, which were subject to a certain amount of abuse in the last year or two, be closed down, and we have been voting against the Coalition," Ludlam said.

"In this case, however, we made this decision about the Implementation Study, for which the Senate sought an order for production nearly two months ago now.

"The Minister held that back until the very last minute [before the Committee was due to hand down its report], arguably to prevent the Select Committee from having the time to go through the assumptions, the costing and the models that have been produced."

That "deprived the Select Committee of the opportunity to test some of those assumptions", he said.

Liberal Senator Stephen Parry said his party would seek to wind up the committee "at some stage in the near future, on the date now determined, as we have a select committee commencement that is contingent upon the winding up of the NBN Committee."

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