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Tuesday, 16 March 2010 19:01

Senate Order: Conroy won't comply on NBN study

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Communications Minister Stephen Conroy will not comply with a Senate Order requiring him to table the NBN Implementation Study by 10am tomorrow, saying Government is still studying the 500-page document.


The Senate last week passed a motion moved by Greens communications spokesman Scott Ludlam calling for the $25 million KPMG-McKinsey authored report to tabled in the chamber by tomorrow morning.

"The Government is reviewing the implementation study and briefing members of the Cabinet before looking at the next steps," a spokeswoman for Senator Conroy told iTWire.

It is understood that some members of Cabinet have already been briefed.

Although it is thought Government may release parts of the implementation study - which includes financial modelling scenarios for the NBN roll-out phase, and subsequent take-up scenarios - it is unlikely to do so during the current sitting period.

Senator Ludlam said the Greens would wait to see Senator Conroy's formal response to the order tomorrow morning, but said the failure to table the document - or provide reason why it cannot - could put at risk its own legislative program.

"It is completely unacceptable (if the study is not tabled)," Senator Ludlam said. "Cabinet meets at least once a week. And for the largest infrastructure project in the nation's history you might have expected them to have it on the agenda for this week."



"The implementation study wasn't procured by Cabinet '¦ it was bought and paid for by the Australian taxpayer and they should table the damn thing," he said.

"This is really putting at risk all of the goodwill they created in announcing the NBN - by this method of keeping people in the dark and just expecting the goodwill to continue."

"But if they are telling us to get stuffed, then I think that - given the finely balanced Senate and given the amount that's riding on bills in the next couple of weeks - I think that would be a really dangerous tactic," he warned.

 


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