Minister for finance and deregulation, Senator Penny Wong, and minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, have slammed the assumptions underpinning the Coalition's costing of Labor's NBN.
At the Joint Committee for the National Broadband Network, Wong reaffirmed the robustness of NBN Co's corporate plan, which was independently verified by KPMG and Greenhill Caliburn.
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"NBN Co. CEO, Mike Quigley, has demonstrated its corporate plan is sound and that the Coalition assumptions about the cost of the project are wrong," she said.
Conroy highlighted three disparities:
- The actual cost of building the NBN to each home and business is between $2200 to $2500 per premise, not $3600 per premise as claimed in Coalition communications spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull's policy document.
- NBN wholesale prices will fall in real terms, not triple as stated in Turnbull's policy document.
- The NBN remains on track to be completed by 2021, not 2025 as claimed in Turnbull's policy document.
"This evidence proves that the assumptions underpinning the Coalition's costing of Labor's NBN are a fraud. If Turnbull had any credibility at all, he would admit that he has based his costing on a lie," he said.
According to Conroy, Turnbull should immediately stop misleading the public about the prices people pay for the NBN now and what people will pay in the future.
"If he doesn't, it's just another sign that Turnbull will say anything to hide the fact that his plan would leave Australia with the broadband equivalent of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with only one lane," Conroy added.