Ditch the NBN to rebuild Queensland, says Tony Abbott
The Federal Opposition Leader has called on the Government to abandon the National Broadband Network (NBN) to free up cash for the recovery effort in Queensland, following the flood crisis in the state.
"The National Broadband Network is a luxury that Australia cannot now afford. The one thing you don't do is redo your bathroom when your roof has just been blown off," Mr Abbott told reporters in Sydney.
'Unnecessary' spending should be curtailed with all spare resources directed to helping Queenslanders rebuild, according to Mr Abbott.
"While I’m on the subject of the National Broadband Network, not only is it the most expensive government infrastructure project in Australia’s history but it’s also the most secretive government project in Australia’s history.
"Not only is there no cost-benefit analysis, not only is it being exempted from competition laws, not only is it being exempted from public works committee scrutiny, we learn today that it’s also being exempted from freedom of information laws," he added, referring to news the NBN Co will be exempt from freedom of information laws because of its status as an incorporated company.
The NBN will bring super-fast fibre-to-the-home broadband to most of Australia, with improved mobile broadband services to those in rural areas. The project is the biggest infrastructure scheme ever undertaken in Australia and will cost around $36 billion.
According to ABC Radio, Finance Minister Penny Wong said the Government remains committed to the NBN.