MEDIA RELEASE - Will the real Shadow Comms Minister please stand up? > Mitch Fifield, Liberal Senator for Victoria


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Senator The Hon Mitch Fifield

MEDIA RELEASE - Will the real Shadow Comms Minister please stand up?

Labor’s latest Senate stunt on ‘nbn reporting’ points to an Opposition fast running out of ideas, as the successful nbn rollout notches up 15,000 premises passed a week, and record numbers of new users switching over to fast broadband.

Today, Labor derailed the progress of a significant communications deregulation package by presenting an unrelated amendment calling for the publication of detailed commercial forecasts for the nbn over the next seven years.

The level of commercial forecasting Labor is calling for — over a seven year period to 2022 — goes far beyond what is required of a publicly listed company and demands the taxpayer-funded Government Business Enterprise disclose minute details of its financial and business models out to 2022 which are presently kept confidential to protect the company in its commercial negotiations with suppliers, contractors and retailers.

The Communications Legislation Amendment (Deregulation and Other Measures) Bill 2015 is an uncontroversial bill that includes a package of measures that would allow the telecommunication industry to take greater responsibility for telephone numbering by allowing the Minister to appoint a satisfactory numbering manager.

When the bill was moved in the House of Representatives it was supported by Shadow Communications Minister Jason Clare who said:

“It is making a considerably big deal about something with is straightforward – a rudimentary cleaning-up exercise.”

“The opposition have consulted with the telecommunications industry, including the Communications Alliance. We have also consulted with the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network and Free TV Australia, and they have indicated to us that they support the amendments in this bill. I thank the government for providing the opposition with a briefing on these bills earlier this week, and, as I said, we will not oppose them in this place."

The NBN under Labor was one of the most poorly managed projects in the history of the Commonwealth. Between 2009 and 2013, NBN Co failed to meet every rollout target it set itself.

Labor’s stunt in the Senate today highlights what many around the Parliament already know - Jason Clare has been sidelined in favour of Senator Stephen Conroy who still runs the show when it comes to the Communications portfolio under Labor.