Abbott: Telstra "bought, not convinced" on NBN

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Abbott: Telstra "bought, not convinced" on NBN

Hopes to change independents' minds.

The Opposition has stepped up its attacks on the National Broadband Network by claiming Telstra had been "bought, not convinced" of the project's merits.

Appearing on ABC Radio's AM program, Opposition leader Tony Abbott also revealed the Coalition planned to convince independent MPs to reverse their support for the NBN and back the Coalition into power.

"There's no reason whatsoever why there couldn't be a baton change at some point early in the Government's term," Abbott said.

"I think [convincing the independents to shift is] what we should be doing and with someone like Malcolm [Turnbull] in charge of communications policy, in charge of exposing the waste and extravagance inherent in the Government's broadband plans that becomes a very real prospect."

The comments prompted Greens communications spokesman Scott Ludlam to issue a warning to the Coalition.

"Holding the government ferociously to account is one thing," Ludlam said.

"Using a crucial infrastructure project like this as a platform to bring down a minority government is another."

Independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Andrew Wilkie reportedly indicated to The Australian that they would not be swayed to change sides.

Abbott also cast doubt this morning on suggestions that Telstra was "on board" with the NBN despite the multi-billion dollar draft heads of agreement between it and NBN Co.

The long form of that agreement was now expected before mid-November.

"I'm not sure that Telstra have been convinced," Abbott speculated.

"They've been offered $11 billion, so I think they've been bought not convinced."

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