With Jim Chalmers MP, Shadow Minister for Finance.
Malcolm Turnbull must urgently come clean on what the implications are for the Budget and the value of the NBN, following NBNCo’s decision to discount wholesale prices.
Turnbull has already conceded the value of the NBN was likely to take a hit following the discount decision:
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, will the value of the NBN drop as a result of the price change announced?
TURNBULL: Yes, it could. It quite easily could.
(Malcolm Turnbull, press conference, 14 December 2017)
Yet speaking before the Joint Standing Committee in August 2017, the NBN CEO said:
“There is no write-off plan. I'm not sure why people speak about that, but we don't have any plans for any write-offs. There is no reason to do so.”
This was followed by Turnbull’s Finance Minister telling the Australian Financial Review in October that “there is no basis for such a write down”.
Beyond the conflicting messages from the Turnbull Government, the never-ending stream of NBN spin consistently fails to explain the financial impacts of its decisions.
Turnbull needs to come out today to clarify what his Government’s position is on an NBN write-down and what the impacts on the Budget will be.
It’s bad enough consumers have been dudded with a second-rate NBN that costs more and does less, but an already abysmal situation is being made worse by the ongoing lack of transparency.
The Turnbull Government cannot continue to sweep its NBN failures under the rug.