MEDIA RELEASE - FIFIELD’S CLAIM THAT REGIONAL PRICE HIKE WAS “UNDER CONSULTATION” IS FALLING APART - 20 AUGUST 2018

Joint with Stephen Jones MP, Shadow Minister for Regional Communications. 

Within the space of 24 hours, Mitch Fifield’s claim that the regional broadband price hike was under consultation has fallen apart at the seams.

According to media reports, a presentation containing the $20 per month regional price increase was presented by NBN executives to the industry on 15 August as a done deal.

Not only does this contradict the claim that consultation was ongoing, but it is entirely consistent with testimony given to the Joint Standing Committee.

The ABC has also reported that at 10.40am on Thursday 16 August, an hour after Labor held a press conference and called for the price hike to be dropped, NBNCo retrospectively modified their opening statement to the Joint Standing Committee on the NBN by adding a new passage to the existing statement which had already been posted on their website.

However, as is clear from recordings, NBNCo never made this comment in their opening statement – nor did this passage exist in the original opening statement.

Further, reports indicate the documents presented to industry on 15 August 2018 show the $65 plan was due to come into effect on Monday 20 August — today.

This suggests these changes to the opening statement, and the Minister’s subsequent claims, were an ill-judged attempt to re-write history.

Whether it is copper or coal, consumers will always pay higher prices under this dysfunctional Liberal Government.