NBN plan mutiny could lead to Senate delay

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NBN plan mutiny could lead to Senate delay

Storm erupts over NBN Co business plan.

Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull has all but called on the Senate to delay voting on the Telstra split bill until after the Government releases NBN Co's business plan.

It came after the Government appeared to openly flout a Senate motion to produce the three-year business plan by the end of the week by saying they wouldn't do so until after parliament had finished sitting this year.

The Government's stance was widely criticised by the Greens, independents and Coalition last night.

The Senate was due to debate - and vote - on a bill that would split Telstra and introduce a regulatory framework for the NBN in the next week.

When asked whether the Senate should delay its vote until next year, Turnbull said today that he did "not see how the House or the Senate, members of any chamber, can responsibly deal with this [NBN] project without really understanding the financial consequences, the economics of the project. 

"It is incredible," Turnbull said on the steps of Parliament House today.

"They’re [the Government] refusing to publish the business plan. 

"And... when we finally do see something, if we ever do, it will be over the summer break, hopefully when not too much attention are being paid to matters politica. And it will be heavily edited.  The one thing Stephen Conroy doesn’t want to do is face any real scrutiny."

Turnbull said that the Government's offer of a private briefing on the business plan was an "insult".

"I thought we were in a new era of sunshine and accountability where the public would be allowed to know what’s happening with $43 billion of their taxes," Turnbull said.

"The idea of private briefings is just an insult. The Government should publish the business plan, full- stop. They should have published it the moment it was completed."

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