Statement > Mitch Fifield, Liberal Senator for Victoria

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Senator The Hon Mitch Fifield

Statement

Last year there were leaks of commercially sensitive information from nbn.

The senior management of nbn initiated an internal review, which identified matters of concern.

The nbn senior management subsequently referred these matters to the AFP.

I was advised by nbn that the matter had been referred to the AFP.

The referral to the AFP was made by the nbn senior management. I did not instruct nor request them to do so.

It was quite properly a matter for nbn.

As an AFP investigation was underway, I did not advise other Ministers or the Prime Minister of this matter.

I have had no interaction with the AFP during their investigation. Nor did I have any knowledge of, nor involvement in, matters that occurred this week, as was confirmed by the AFP Commissioner yesterday.

The Coalition’s record:
In relation to Opposition claims the NBN is behind schedule and over budget, this is not supported by the facts:

  • The NBN has met its milestones over the past eight quarters.
  • The NBN will exceed its corporate plan revenue targets this financial year.
  • The NBN is under budget compared to its corporate plan targets for costs this financial year.
  • The NBN is easily on track to meet its corporate plan target of 2.632 million premises ready for service this financial year.
  • The NBN has already passed its corporate plan target of 955,000 premises activated by July.

 In contrast, NBN under Labor was based on fantasy assumptions, riddled with delays and the absence of cost controls:

  • Labor's nbn fell 83% short of its 2013 rollout targets.
  • Only 51,000 fixed and wireless premises were ever connected to the NBN under Labor.
  • The rollout was so badly managed under Labor by mid-2013 NBN contractors had downed tools and stopped construction work in four states.

The Coalition's management of the NBN will see the network completed by 2020, six to eight years sooner than under Labor’s plan and at around 30 billion dollars less cost.

Under the Coalition Government, the nbn publicly reports its rollout progress weekly, its financial and operational activities quarterly and published a three-year Corporate Plan annually.