MEDIA RELEASE - MYEFO – TIMING OF CHANGES TO NBN STATEMENT OF RISKS NEEDS EXPLANATION - 18 DECEMBER 2017

With Jim Chalmers MP, Shadow Minister for Finance.

Labor calls on the Turnbull Government to explain its addition to the NBN Statement of Risks released in today’s 2017-18 MYEFO update:

 nbn.png

Source: MYEFO 2017-18, Statement of Risks, p. 248.

Whilst it’s not unusual for such an indemnity to be provided by parent entities to directors of subsidiaries, the late timing of these changes seems somewhat odd.

The MYEFO update also reports a $520 million increase in the loan (cumulative debt funding) being provided by the Commonwealth to NBNCo, relative to the 2017-18 Budget forecasts.

NBN Loan

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

BUDGET 17-18 ($b)

-9.286

-6.815

-2.679

18.78

MYEFO   17-18 ($b)

-8.84

-7.769

-2.688

19.30

In light of these developments there are two reasonable questions for the Turnbull Government to answer:

  • what prompted the introduction of an indemnity against liability at this stage of the project?
  • is the Government aware of any risks or issues that would compromise the $49 billion peak funding limit?