Cowper Duty Senator Matt Thistlethwaite has labelled claims made by local Federal member Luke Hartsuyker regarding the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) misleading.
Cowper Duty Senator Matt Thistlethwaite has labelled claims made by local Federal member Luke Hartsuyker regarding the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) misleading. Trevor Veale

Senator: MP misleading re NBN

COWPER Duty Senator Matt Thistlethwaite has labelled claims made by local Federal member Luke Hartsuyker regarding the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) "misleading".

Having read the comments made by Mr Hartsuyker in a story that appeared on the Advocate's website last week, the Labor Party Senator felt compelled to reply to the claims telling the story from his side of the Senate chamber.

"Mr Hartsuyker's claims that rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is over budget and behind schedule are short sighted and misleading," Senator Thistlethwaite said.

"Mr Hartsuyker claims the Government and NBN Co have taken "two years" to admit the project will take an extra six months to complete. This is quite simply false.

"The negotiations with Telstra only concluded in March this year-nine months later than expected, as we said at the time. Despite this, the 10 year project has only been extended by six months."

NBN Co's The 2011-2013 Corporate Plan for NBN Co was released in December 2010 and it did not include the deal with Optus to shut down its outdated cable network and migrate 500,000 customers to the NBN.

The Labor Senator said this was simply because the deal hadn't been negotiated at that stage.

He added that including the new deal creates a better nett result.

"The recently released 2012-2015 Corporate Plan includes this deal, which brings forward some expenses but results in higher revenues over the life of the project. A point Mr Hartsuyker seems to have missed," he said.

"Higher revenues mean a higher rate of return for the taxpayer.

"The 2012-2015 Corporate Plan confirms the NBN is a sound investment that will pay its own way and generate a 7% return.

"In practical terms, this means that NBN wholesale prices-already cheaper than or comparable with prices for ADSL2+-will become even cheaper over time."

Senator Thistlethwaite said by the end of the year many regional homes, including more than 10,000 on the Coffs Coast, will have benefitted from having work on the project commenced.

"The Government is on track to meet our target of having work for 758,000 fibre premises commenced or completed by the end of 2012," he said.

"In Coffs Harbour, NBN construction has already started to connect 11,100 homes and business, as well as 8,800 homes and business in Boambee, Boambee East, Sawtell and Toormina."



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