Tag Archives: national broadband network

“Nation Bankrupting Network” A Big Success

21 Nov

From Day 1, Senator Joyce has pilloried the Government’s mega-dollar NBN as a “Nation Bankrupting Network”.

And just as with his other big calls … the ever-rising US debt level, and carbon trading being “The Greatest Scam On Earth” … Barnaby is right.

From Smarthouse.com.au:

NBN A Flop As Consumers & Business Reject Fast Broadband

Early indications are that the NBN is struggling to attract customers with only 11% of homes signing on to the $36 Billion dollar broadband network where it has already been rolled out. In some places the take up rate is less than 6%.

According to new information only one in nine homes have taken up the service in towns like Armadale [sic] NSW which is Tony Windsor’s electorate of New England.

Late last week Senator Nick Xenophon was told that the sign up rate in Brunswick, Victoria was only 5.5%.

“What we are seeing now is that the cost benefit analysis that should have been done, is now being done in actuality and it’s showing the back of the envelope calculations done by Communications Minister Senator Conroy is not worth the paper it’s written on said Senator Barnaby Joyce.

SingTel Optus Boss Paul O Sullivan has also waded into the debate claiming that the NBN could become a “huge” failure unless the Company rolling it out NBN Co is far more transparent.

NBN Co and Comms and Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy have defended the early take-up rate of NBN services claiming the poor use of the service was not a relevant issue. “People need to finish their existing retail contracts now before they migrate over to the NBN,” the spokesman said. “But eventually, because of the Telstra deal, all of its customers will be migrated over to the NBN.”

The Australian newspaper recently revealed that a survey of company directors showed that 55 per cent disagree with the National Broadband Network, compared with 35 per cent in favour. Those who strongly oppose the NBN (32 per cent) more than double those who strongly support it (15 per cent).

Previous warnings have come from The Economist, the internationally respected magazine whose intelligence unit has compared broadband projects around the world.

It described the NBN’s price tag as “exorbitant” and noted it will cost taxpayers 24 times more than South Korea’s network, for a tenth of the speed. A later audit found Australia’s plan the most expensive of all the countries surveyed, including Greece and Qatar. It described the NBN as an example of “extreme government intervention” and noted it involved less competition than schemes in China.

Senator Conroy’s response has been to dismiss criticism as “ideological dogma”.

The Nation Bankrupting Network.

It’s Labor’s first big success.

Turnbull Warns Of NBN “Charade”: Costs Kept “Off The Books”

13 May

The black hole keeps getting bigger.

Labor continues its practice of fiddling the books, to cover up its economic mismanagement.

From Delimiter:

Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has labelled the Federal Government’s continued approach of keeping the cost of building its flagship National Broadband Network project off the annual budget books a “charade”, in the wake of early take-up figures of the network’s services which the Coalition views as being less than expected.

In the budget papers released on Tuesday night, the Government provided further detail about how it would inject equity funding into the NBN project, allocating $18.2 billion in equity injections to NBN co over the proceeding years up until the 2014-15 financial year. The payments are instalments towards the Government’s total equity contribution to the NBN, which is expected to be $27.5 billion.

However, in a statement released tonight as part of the Coalition’s budget response, Turnbull said the Government had continued its “charade” in the budget papers of “keeping the entire cost of this needlessly expensive, excessively risky, anti-competitive project off the books”.

The Government, Turnbull said, assumed the NBN could be kept off-Budget because it would generate a commercial return, making the NBN worth not less than the cost of its initial investment.

“But eight months after the first sites were turned on in Tasmania, expectations of strong early revenues are looking overly optimistic,” the Member for Wentworth said, claiming that only eleven percent of households in Tasmania who had access to the NBN had signed up for services so far; less than predictions that 58 percent of households would by 2014-15 be purchasing services over the network and increasing their internet usage over today’s figures.

“The lacklustre performance metrics for the NBN so far bode ill for taxpayers,” Turnbull added. “The claim that the Government’s equity costs are limited to $27.5 billion (excluding $16 billion to be paid to Telstra) with the balance funded in debt is a very spurious one. There is no prospect of NBN being able to borrow on a no-recourse to the Government basis and so the NBN’s indebtedness will be just another category of Government debt. All of the NBN risk is with the Government.”

Rudd Deserts Another Principle

7 May

Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 6 May 2010:

“The release of the long-awaited NBN study today reveals that Prime Minister Rudd has deserted one more of his once closely-held principles,” Senator Barnaby Joyce, the Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Infrastructure and Water said today.

In the 2008-09 Budget the Government committed themselves to:

  • “Decision making based on rigorous cost-benefit analysis to ensure the highest economic and social benefits to the nation over the long term.”

But page two of the NBN implementation study explicitly states that it is not a “cost-benefit analysis of the macro-economic and social benefits.”

“The NBN study reveals another Labor broken promise,” Senator Joyce said today. “Two years ago Mr Rudd was talking up the benefits of establishing Infrastructure Australia and subjecting infrastructure investments to rigorous analysis. But on the biggest infrastructure project he has committed to he has deserted these principles, just as he has deserted the ETS.”

“Infrastructure Australia has been effectively gagged on the issue. Their public analysis has amounted to five paragraphs last year in ticking off on an investment of up to $4.7 billion from the Building Australia Fund. At almost $1 billion per paragraph, it wasn’t cheap advice. Minister Albanese, the Minister for Infrastructure, was missing in action.”

As Ken Henry, Secretary of the Treasury, stated last year:

  • “Government spending that does not pass an appropriately defined cost-benefit test necessarily detracts from Australia’s wellbeing. That is, when taxpayer funds are not put to their best use, Australia’s wellbeing is not as high as it otherwise could be.”

“Is it any wonder that this is a Government that has racked up $138 billion in debt and is continuing to borrow up to $2 billion a fortnight? Like much of this borrowing, the Government made its decision to spend $43 billion on the NBN in haste. In Senate Estimates last year it was revealed that NBN Mark II was conceived between Senator Conroy and the Prime Minister during two plane flights on Mr Rudd’s VIP jet” Senator Joyce said.

“The ‘back of the boarding pass’ approach to infrastructure selection must end. A Coalition Government will conduct and release cost-benefit analysis on infrastructure investments.”

More Information- Jenny Swan 07 46 251500

A Little Less Conversation

23 Mar

Media Release – Senator Barnaby Joyce, 23 March 2010

The Finance Minister, Lindsay Tanner, today expressed concern that Australia has too many of its export eggs “in one basket.” Senator Barnaby Joyce today responded by noting that this mock concern comes from the same government that continues to borrow $1.5 to $2 billion a fortnight.

“Export industries, other than the mining sector, are being “crowded out” by the government’s reckless and wasteful stimulus spending. This spending puts upward pressure on interest rates, making it harder for exporting firms to access finance. We have seen four interest rate rises in six months.” Senator Joyce said.

“But also when the government is borrowing at this pace, others have to go offshore. This increases our foreign debt and puts upward pressure on our exchange rate. Our exchange rate has increased 30 per cent over the last year. This hurts industries like the tourism sector. Unemployment is 12.4% in Far North Queensland at the moment, where the tourism hub of Cairns once generated a lot of jobs.”

“If Mr Tanner wants to encourage export diversification he needs to engage in less talk and more action.”

Mr Tanner tried to point to the government’s policies to invest in infrastructure and increase productivity as the ways it is helping export industries.

“This is a government that doesn’t do a business plan on a $43 billion broadband network. How does it even know that these investments will increase productivity? And, Mr Tanner is also the Minister for Deregulation, but the COAG Reform Council showed earlier this month that progress on four out of eight competition reforms is stalled. This includes national transport reforms, which are crucial if our export industries can get their products to ports cheaply and quickly.”

More information- Jenny Swan 0438 578402

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