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  • News, Telecommunications - Written by on Thursday, November 14, 2013 13:30 - 72 Comments

    Political brawl erupts over NBN sub-committee


    news Federal Parliament hasn’t even been back in session for a week, but a political brawl has already erupted between the largest three parties over whether and how new parliamentary sub-committees will be established to provide oversight of the National Broadband Network project, in yet another sign that the initiative has become increasingly politicised.

    Under the previous Parliament, before the September Federal Election, there were several avenues for the NBN project as a whole and NBN Co specifically to be held to account by the broader Parliament, aside from NBN Co’s ongoing obligations towards its shareholder ministers, the Communications Minister and Finance Minister of the day.

    The principal avenue for that accountability to take place was the Joint Committee on the NBN, which counted members from both houses of Parliament and was chaired by independent MP Rob Oakeshott. Greens Communications Spokesperson Scott Ludlam sat on the Committee, as did then-Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other parliamentarians with an interest in the NBN, such as Labor MPs Ed Husic and Michelle Rowland and Liberal MP Paul Fletcher.

    The Senate also had its own chance to examine the NBN separately through its Standing Environment and Communications Committee, which deals with the telecommunications portfolio as a whole.

    On 17 October this year, the day after new Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced his Cabinet, appointing Turnbull Communications Minister as has long been expected, Ludlam wrote to Turnbull directly congratulating the Member for Wentworth on the appointment and requesting that he re-establish the Joint Parliamentary NBN Committee as soon as Parliament resumed. The letter can be downloaded here in PDF format.

    “The Joint NBN Committee has provided an opportunity for industry, local government and other stakeholders to provide expertise to the parliament,” wrote Ludlam. “I believe the Joint Committee has an essential role in ongoing oversight while providing an important opportunity for the government to explain its approach to this critical infrastructure. I also believe its membership should be provided with the opportunity to input to the NBN Co’s internal review and examine its final report.”

    It is believed that Turnbull never directly replied to Ludlam’s letter on the issue. Instead, it is believed that Labor and the Coalition have negotiated separately to re-create the NBN Joint Parliamentary Committee.

    That effort, however, has been thrown into doubt by a pre-emptive motion which passed the Senate this afternoon, led by Ludlam and Labor backbencher Kate Lundy, who many believed would have been an ideal candidate for a Shadow Cabinet position in the Communications portfolio due to the Senator’s long service in the field. The motion, which passed with Labor’s support, will establish a Senate Select Committee into the NBN.

    Speaking in the Senate today (YouTube video), Ludlam said of Turnbull: “He has not re-established the Joint NBN Committee and I do not believe he that he seeks to. That is why this select committee is necessary-to police, to the degree that we can, the shambles that is now being presided over; as anybody with any knowledge of construction of that network is being washed out of the organisation [NBN Co].”

    “It is absolutely essential for an investment of this scale, given the privatisation mentality that this government seems to be bringing to the debate, that we salvage whatever we can from the wreckage that Mr Turnbull is now presiding over,” Ludlam said. “So I would encourage members from all sides of this chamber to participate and to do what we can to retrieve the best we can from the wreckage of this government’s broadband policy.”

    The NBN Senate Select Committee will consist of seven senators — three each from the Coalition and one from the Greens. Its term of reference is available online.

    However, the long-term fate of parliamentary oversight of the NBN still remains unclear, with the new Senate Select Committee set to expire when the new Senate takes its seats on 1 July 2014. The final make-up of the Senate is still unclear, with Ludlam’s own seat still in doubt, and it is unclear to what extent new party entrants such as the Palmer United Party would support either the new NBN Senate Select Committee being extended or a new Joint Committee into the NBN being created.

    Turnbull’s office has stated that it would ultimately prefer a joint committee situation with respect to the NBN, as it had been working towards.

    Fascinating political situation here. What appears to have happened is that the Greens tried to re-establish the old NBN joint parliamentary committee, but were ignored by the Coalition and to a certain extent Labor, most likely because the Coalition at least, and maybe Labor, wanted to keep the Greens and/or other minor parties such as the Palmer United Party out of the future committee.

    At some stage, Labor’s enthusiasm for the Joint Committee renewal appears to have waned, and the party appears to have begun to believe that a Senate Select Committee would offer it a better chance to hold the Coalition Government to account on the NBN, due to the dominance which Labor and the Greens will hold over the Senate until mid-2014. A NBN Senate Select Committee may suit Labor better in this period due to that control, despite the fact that it will necessarily exclude Labor’s Shadow Ministers in the portfolio, MPs Jason Clare and Michelle Rowland.

    This is likely why Labor worked with the Greens on the separate Senate Select Committee, and Lundy would be the logical Senate candidate to work with Ludlam on getting the effort up. I also suspect Stephen Conroy of being involved in this one — the former Communications Minister is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and usually has a hand in these kinds of shenanigans.

    The caveat, of course, is that the Senate will change on 1 July 2014, so it’s my understanding that this NBN Senate Select Committee will expire at that point. In the meantime, I hope the two major sides of politics can come to an agreement about re-establishing a more comprehensive Joint Committee featuring the actual Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet MPs responsible for the portfolio. I’d like to see representatives of both the Greens and the Palmer United Party on that joint committee as well. But perhaps that’s ultimately wishful thinking.

    Image credit: Shinkai, Creative Commons

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    1. quink
      Posted 14/11/2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink |

      Meanwhile, near enough every comment on Malcolm Turnbull’s website seems to have gone missing: http://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/media/category/blog

      • haha yeah
        Posted 14/11/2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink |

        Hard rubbish collection day.

      • Harimau
        Posted 14/11/2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink |

        This is what it used to look like on 6 Nov 2013 22:50:31 GMT:

        It takes two to tango – NBN rollout in Tasmania.
        1st November 2013 | 10 comments | Blog, Media Releases

        Cyber Security
        1st November 2013 | 7 comments | Blog

        NBN rollout in Tasmania – Facts
        30th October 2013 | 37 comments | Blog

        Why Is Israel a Start-Up Nation? And Thoughts on Crowd-Funding
        25th October 2013 | 5 comments | Blog

        Coalition committed to a cost benefit analysis of NBN (Conroy wrong again)
        14th October 2013 | 42 comments | Blog, Media Releases

        Press Conference: Interim NBN Co Statement of Expectations
        24th September 2013 | 0 comments | Blog, Transcripts

        Opening the new North Bondi Surf Club club house
        21st September 2013 | 3 comments | Blog, Media Releases, Speeches

        The importance of telling the truth – especially if you are a lecturer in communications.
        15th September 2013 | 164 comments | Blog

        Our NBN Policy
        12th September 2013 | 1221 comments | Blog

        Fairfax gets it wrong – Coalition committed to structural separation
        4th September 2013 | 81 comments | Blog

    2. The Treat
      Posted 14/11/2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink |

      Why exactly would you want to see representatives from PUP on the committee?

      The NBN has enough problems with politicisation, it doesn’t need insanity and rank incompetence added into the fray.

      • Posted 14/11/2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink |

        I don’t know whether you noticed, but the PUP won a significant proportion of the vote in the last election. Palmer himself is a very successful businessman. I don’t personally agree with all of their policies, but you can’t argue with the fact that they have a legitimate right to be represented on a committee which is going to have a dozen members.

      • skywake
        Posted 14/11/2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink |

        Well they do appear to be gaining a fairly large block of power in the senate. The Sports Party dude, whether he stays or not, looks to be going to join them and the Motoring Enthusiasts dude is doing the same. In terms of want I’m sure most supporters of the NBN as is would rather see no Coalition MPs anywhere near it. It’s not about what we should want though, it’s about what’s fair.

        It’s fair that any committee is representative of the people the public elected. PUP has power, PUP should have a seat.

        • Fibroid
          Posted 15/11/2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink |


          The make up of the Senate after July 2014 is:
          Coalition 33
          Labor 25
          Greens 10
          PUP 2

          The other minors are one each.

          PUP should sit on the NBN Committee because they have one more than the minors- really?

          • GongGav
            Posted 15/11/2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink |

            As representative of all the minors, why not? As Renai pointed out above, they did get a pretty decent chunk of votes in the election, so they are somewhat representative of the public.

            As a voting block, those minors are going to hold considerable power. If the Liberals ignore them, its at their peril, and they are going to need them onside if they want to get something past the Labor/Greens combination.

            So if you want to keep them happy, and want someone who will agree with you, which one do you think is going to support the Liberal ideals more? Shooters, revheads, or miners?

      • Alex
        Posted 14/11/2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink |

        Interestingly, I vaguely recall reading an article where Clive of all people, said he believe telecommunications (amongst many other sectors) is a national issue and should be controlled by the government.

    3. haha yeah
      Posted 14/11/2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink |

      That’s Kevin Rudd lying stone cold on the canvas, the Australian electorate glancing back over its shoulder with a look of disgust and the AEC official in blue shirt and black bowtie.

      • theslydog
        Posted 15/11/2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink |

        haha yeah writes
        That’s Kevin Rudd lying stone cold on the canvas…

        Nah, its a premonition of Tony (climate change is crap) Abbott at the next election.

    4. Fibroid
      Posted 14/11/2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink |

      The NBN Senate Committee last time around didn’t do much, they seemed to be always in the process of ‘gonna get the NBN Co to do this or that’ but it never happened, they were always after more detailed reporting from the NBN Co which never happened, the NBN Co were also asked to do a Corporate plan based on Coalition policy when it was released in April, that also never happened.

      A newly formed committee with opposing political parties as members would go through to the 2016 election disagreeing and arguing and political point scoring all over again, in the meantime the NBN rolls on exactly as the Government in power wants it.

      • haha yeah
        Posted 14/11/2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink |

        well, outside of media scrums, those lonely Green senators feel pretty friendless, irrelevant and marginalised in Parliament… so they need Committees to sit on to feel productive and fill up their otherwise empty calendars.

        • Alex
          Posted 15/11/2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink |

          I love it when the two major party’s and their blind trusty foot soldiers feel more threatened by the minor party’s than they do each other….

    5. Mr Creosote
      Posted 14/11/2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink |

      The Libs made the last Joint Senate Committee a farce. Instead of it being a useful tool for monitoring the NBN and holding NBN Co to account, it was used as a tool to derail useful debate. The Libs continually side tracked the committee and members of NBN Co with ridiculous questions, asking questions that had been answered, bickering and trying to score political points. Quigley at one point even said something along the lines that he should be able to spend more time actually doing the rollout than answering inane questions.

      Hopefully this time, there will be far less of the ridiculous antics, and far more answers – especially from a govt who is selling itself on “openness and transparency”. Avoidance of oversight by the likes of a Senate Committee shows they dont seem too serious about following through on that promise either.

      • haha yeah
        Posted 14/11/2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink |

        Talk about delusional historical revisionism… who tried to foist a massive infra project on the country without a cost benefit despite saying CBAs are important? Who tried to ram NBN legislation thru’ Parliament without even releasing a simple “business plan”? Who was forced by Parliament to release a more detailed Corp Plan after coughing up an embarrassingly thin “business plan”? In retrospect, how have the brazenly ambitious rollout projections fared? Were the critics that Labor NBN would fail correct? ABSOLUTELY.

        • Alex
          Posted 15/11/2013 at 6:14 am | Permalink |


        • Non Puto
          Posted 15/11/2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink |

          “Talk about delusional historical revisionism”
          Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

          Whilst necessary when talking about a period of return on capital of 1-7 years the degree of difficulty of ascribing cost to benefit over multi generational investment does become harder; can you point to the CBA for the Snowy Scheme?

          With the effort taken by the previous government with its tender process for FTTN I believe that there was more work done then into Broadband in Australia than the Liberal party has done on the subject since 1996. History has shown the Liberal party to have constant disinterest in improving the infrastructure of this nation and this is most evident through the waste being burdened upon communications infrastructure today.

          As an aside…
          That’s Tony on the mat, he’s fainted as since winning the election bout he now has no idea how to change from an unaccountable opposition into being a “we’re responsible for the nation” government.

          • Fibroid
            Posted 15/11/2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink |

            @Non Puto

            ‘can you point to the CBA for the Snowy Scheme?’


            “A joint Commonwealth and State Snowy River Committee was established to investigate the financial viability of the proposal,” the post read. “The process took several years and produced a number of reports. The cost of the project was thoroughly analysed as were the benefits to electricity generation and irrigation.”


            • Non Puto
              Posted 15/11/2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink |

              Not really a link to the CBA was it?

              • Fibroid
                Posted 15/11/2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink |

                @Non Puto

                ‘Not really a link to the CBA was it?’

                Oh I see, so what would you call it?

            • PeterA
              Posted 15/11/2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink |

              Wasn’t there a financial viability investigation run on the NBN?

              Not a CBA, but an investigation into financial viability by an accounting firm? I can’t quite recall. McKinsey comes to mind??

              (I really can’t remember; I am not being facetious)

        • Mr Creosote
          Posted 15/11/2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink |

          Talk about off topic. My comment was related to the farce that was the last Joint Senate Committee. Had the Libs not derailed it, more of the hard questions could have been asked that would have held NBN CO to account. Sadly, the Libs made sure that wasn’t to be.

          As for the rest of your claims, where is the LIbs CBA for their NBN? They took their NBN policy to an election with no CBA. They are now seeking to make is something different – with no CBA. The CBA will be done by a stacked panel, after the policy direction is decided. Might as well no have one.
          If Turnbull is so against the legislation, why isn’t he repealing it? With “stop everything” Abbott in charge, they should be happy to be finding something else to repeal. How is Turnbull going with his accounting standards given he continued to claim the NBN should be on budget, even after it was well proven it shouldn’t be? Where is Turnbulls business case for his NBN, and how is it going to be kept off budget, given the massive reduction in areas to obtain a return to taxpayer.
          Turnbull is the master of saying one thing and doing another – his big rant about “truth in politics” is a prime example – His porkies got worse after that speech and his credibility declined. He sucks some people in with his double speak. Rational thinkers see it for what it is though.

      • Fibroid
        Posted 15/11/2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink |

        @Mr Creosote

        Of course your anti-Liberal rant conveniently ignores what I outlined in my previous post, that is when the Committee did get its collective act together and made a decision/s and placed demands on the NBN Co specifically in regards to more detailed reports as the NBN FTTP train starting going off the rails when rollover targets were missed multiple times the requests were ignored anyway.

        • AJ
          Posted 15/11/2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink |

          He was not responding to you so why would he answer you?
          I think everyone is sick to death of your “Arguments” and “Debates” which stop when you are proven incorrect.
          There is no point in responding to you as any debate which refutes your point stops as you stop responding.

          I will no longer respond to you as it is not possible to have a reasoned debate with you and I hope that others will no longer give you any air here.

          • Fibroid
            Posted 15/11/2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink |


            You don’t get to dictate on what posts I (or anyone else) are allowed to respond to purely because you don’t like the response, this is an open forum within the rules Renai has set.

            You don’t want to debate the content of what I said because it is true, so what is left – go for the ‘shoot the messenger’ fallback position.

            • AJ
              Posted 15/11/2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink |

              I do not which to debate with you because IF I prove you wrong you ignore the post and chase someone else with the same argument ignoring what was said minutes before.

              just FYI I have not read the post in question so have no view as to its validity.

              • Fibroid
                Posted 15/11/2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink |

                Go ahead prove me wrong, I don’t mind.

                • Observer
                  Posted 15/11/2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink |

                  Oh, yes you do.

                • AJ
                  Posted 16/11/2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink |

                  You have failed to understand my posts here If you can tell me what my point was I will prove you wrong!

          • Observer
            Posted 15/11/2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink |

            “I will no longer respond to you as it is not possible to have a reasoned debate with you and I hope that others will no longer give you any air here.”


            • Alex
              Posted 15/11/2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink |

              Oh c’mon guys…

              We all love playing with kids and patronising their whimsical, non-reality, fantasy filled minds…

              • Observer
                Posted 15/11/2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink |

                Not when they’re boringly repetitive.

                • TrevorX
                  Posted 15/11/2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink |

                  Precisely. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have much better things to be doing with my time than wasting it on Fibroid (by definition a parasitic growth) and Mathew, particularly when Renai allows their oft disproven falsehoods and misinformation to go unmoderated and their accounts to remain active. Why bother? I’ve gone from passionate to frustrated to why waste my time? But then that’s the point, isn’t it – no rational person can continue to debate with an idiot who refuses to accept rational arguments and facts without tiring of the futility of it. The only reason I bothered initially was because of the sign on the door about ‘evidence based discussion’. It turns out that doesn’t apply to everyone equally, so I’m over wasting my valuable time.

                  • jimb0
                    Posted 16/11/2013 at 1:47 am | Permalink |

                    Dude. You do realise “Alex” and “Observer” are the same person? (Possibly using USB wireless broadband to avoid IP duplication.)

                    • Alex
                      Posted 16/11/2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink |

                      And just when we thought it couldn’t possibly get any sillier…

                    • Observer
                      Posted 16/11/2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink |

                      Shouldn’t your name start with B rather than J?

                      And this really the best you can come up with? Anyway, your point? If you have any?

                    • Alex
                      Posted 16/11/2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink |


                      Having read Observer’s rational and well thought out arguments, I’ll take that as a compliment.

                      I’m thankful that I am at least being likened to someone with common sense and logical reasoning. One who has one set of rules which applies across the board and who isn’t simply a (paid?) mouth piece for a political organisation. One who, warts and all, nonetheless can see FttP is the only way, when considering FttN uses dilapidated copper which belongs to Telstra and especially at a similar governmental cost.

                      The most ironic part of your ridiculous comment Jimb0, is that I can only recall two of your posts and both said the same meaningless thing… for a newbie (ahem…lol) that is quite odd.

            • Fibroid
              Posted 15/11/2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink |

              Three more sliding head kick attempts with TrevorX finishing off with a personal attack for good measure – impressive.

              Why don’t you just refute the points I made, in a rational polite manner, rather than taking the easy and lazy ‘shoot the messenger ‘ route?

              • TrevorX
                Posted 15/11/2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink |

                Because I’ve taken the time, as have others, to directly address the points you raise, only to have you ignore the responses and disappear, then repeat the same nonsense a day or two later with utterly no acknowledgement for the facts disproving your position. You refer to anything that isn’t Liberal Party propaganda as ‘conjecture’ despite it being a logical position supported by facts. You continually and repeatedly ignore arguments and dismiss them out of hand without bothering to provide an actual argument as to why they might not be correct, and yet make sweeping statements yourself with utterly no basis in reality beyond your (or a Liberal Party) opinion.

                In summary you do not honestly engage in any semblance of meaningful debate, and I, for one, am over it. Don’t go crying foul now, your actions over months have demonstrated your unwillingness to accept any point of view that doesn’t pander to an LNP position. What is the point of continuing this farce of a discussion/debate? What possible reason could you have for any reasonable person to bother engaging with you? We know your position, we know your tactics, we know what the result of any discussion will be. Let’s just skip to the end and save everyone time, shall we?

                We summarily reject and dispute everything you have to say, because you’ve demonstrated you have nothing of value to add. If you’re allowed to continue to make baseless, politically motivated comments on here you will be treated with silence, as though you don’t exist, because that is the value you bring to the table – nothing.

                • Carl
                  Posted 15/11/2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink |

                  Brilliant post TrevorX. It represents what a lot of us are thinking.

                  • grump3
                    Posted 15/11/2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink |

                    For a long time now I’ve been wondering why rational persons continued to even read his posts, let alone bothered responding to them.

                • Observer
                  Posted 15/11/2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink |

                  Note that he even tries to twist your position as some sort of inability to debate him. The saying “never uncertain, but seldom right” certainly applies to this individual. I agree that the time has come to ignore him.

                • Fibroid
                  Posted 15/11/2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink |


                  .Because I’ve taken the time, as have others, to directly address the points you raise,’


                  ” only to have you ignore the responses and disappear, then repeat the same nonsense a day or two later’

                  Where and when?

                  ‘with utterly no acknowledgement for the facts disproving your position.’

                  What facts have you presented beyond conjecture and stacking funding comparisons with incorrect figures, where have you done this?

                  ‘ You refer to anything that isn’t Liberal Party propaganda as ‘conjecture’ despite it being a logical position supported by facts.’

                  You don’t present a logical position supported by facts, as displayed here:


                  I guess you are still smarting over that one and decide it’s ‘Fibroid payback time’ because you have some like minded supporters to help you put the boot in at the personal level as a complete substitution for proper debate beyond conjecture and cooking funding comparisons, and you actually think calling someone an idiot constitutes proper debate.

                  • Observer
                    Posted 15/11/2013 at 11:13 pm | Permalink |

                    “you actually think calling someone an idiot constitutes proper debate.’

                    This is not about debate. This is about telling you how he, and many of us, feel. Whether you like it or not, you have an irritating, schoolboy like, style of debating. There is no doubt that the needling, you repeatedly engage in, helps increase the number of NBN related posts . It may even give the erroneous impression that the debate here is balanced. Unfortunately, your overwhelming desire to defend your beloved Coalition, at all cost, turns what could be a worthwhile debate into a boringly repetitive, mantra like, promotion of your political position.

                    So, accept that a few of us here, have decided to ignore you. It is not because your amazing debating skills have finally gotten the best of us. It is simply because debating you goes around in circles, never getting anywhere and that responding to your posts will only serve to prolong the agony.

                  • TrevorX
                    Posted 16/11/2013 at 2:22 am | Permalink |

                    I didn’t bother responding to you because that was yet more tedious nonsense I didn’t have time for, and frankly by the time I did have half an hour spare with which to devote to refuting your drivel I found myself preferring, instead, to carve my own eyes out with a spoon, because that was a more worthwhile use of my time.

                    You are a waste of my time, a waste of everyone’s time; you don’t engage honestly, you expect everyone to take the time to patiently write and rewrite their arguments to you, to cite references, to take your arguments at face value and give them due consideration, and yet you never accept opposing points of view, never admit when you are incorrect, you simply stop replying when your argument fails.

                    Case in point (you asked for some references) is this, which you not only failed to reply to, but you then continued to make other comments on the same article. Because it’s a point that bears repeating, I’ll quote it here in its entirety:
                    ” Fibroid, what does the $44.1bn and $45.6bn refer to? Total government debt contribution? No, that would be $30.4bn. $44.1bn refers to peak funding.

                    So the $29.5bn also refers to peak funding then. Oh wait, no it doesn’t; that refers to total government debt contribution.

                    OK, so we should be comparing $29.5bn vs $30.4bn, right? Oh, you want to use the peak funding figure? OK fine (although the total private debt isn’t particularly relevant because it is private debt with no material relevance to tax payers, but you should be allowed to compare those figures if you want to).

                    So we have $45.6bn in peak funding for the FTTP build, vs… Oh wait, what is peak funding for FTTN? Fibroid? Sorry mate, I can’t seem to remember… Hang on, I’m sure it’s here somewhere… Let me Google it, one moment… Hmm. You know, I can’t seem to find that figure anywhere. Do you know where it might be?

                    Oh, hang on, I’ve just remembered! *slaps head* I can’t find that figure because the LNP have never published it. Personally, I doubt they’ve even worked out what it would actually work out to, but I don’t know that. I do know that we don’t have that figure, though, which means we can’t directly compare the ALP FTTP NBN peak funding figure without the FTTN equivalent.

                    I believe I have adequately explained this to you, in a way that is unambiguous. I warn you now, any and every time you try to use the FTTP peak funding figures without a directly comparable FTTN figure I will request that you are banned from Delimiter for deliberately injecting false information despite having your inaccuracies and falsehoods pointed out. I strongly encourage others to link back to this post whenever a FTTN apologist attempts to compare FTTP peak funding figures with anything but (an as yet undisclosed) FTTN peak funding.

                    I am all for debate, but it is time the underhanded logical fallacies, misinformation and falsehoods were banished – your arguments should be adequate in their own standing without needing to rely on lies and deception; anyone would think you’re not actually that confident in your position…”

                    That was on the 23rd of October. Since then you have continued to compare the FTTP peak funding figure with the FTTN total government debt figure (helpfully, you just provided a link to a post where you’ve done exactly that), which is a deliberate attempt to inject falsehood into the discussion. You’re doing this knowingly, and yet here you remain. Queue frustration.

                    I have had enough of being frustrated by insignificant parasites like you. If Renai won’t moderate or remove you entirely, I will simply ignore you. You have no right to demand that I nor anyone else take the time to write a reply to someone as obnoxiously rude and disrespectful as you – you’re like a black hole, sucking people’s lives and time and energy away. There are countless people and tasks and things that deserve my time and my energy. You do not, you pathetic little man.

                    • Alex
                      Posted 16/11/2013 at 8:42 am | Permalink |

                      Nice work :)

                      TrevorX you certainly speak on my behalf…

                      Thank you.

                    • haha yeah
                      Posted 16/11/2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink |


                      see pg. 31

                      “The NBN is projected to be cash flow positive in 2020‐21.”

                      Peak funding of Coalition FTTN plan is $28,796 million.

                      Explanation: Annual cashflow deficit adds to the cumulative funding requirement. As the Coalition NBN will be cashflow positive from 2020, the funding requirement will peak in 2019 and begin to drop thereafter.

                      Have a good weekend. (And stop bullying posters who disagree with you. This is not Whirlpool.)

                      • Alex
                        Posted 16/11/2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink |

                        “Have a good weekend. (And stop bullying posters who disagree with you. This is not Whirlpool.)”

                        Wow, there’s the old one set of rules the ‘usual suspects’ wish to apply to us, but ‘never apply to themselves’. again.. much like their entire NBN vs Coalition’s network biases…FFS



                        The hypocrisy continues :/

                      • Observer
                        Posted 16/11/2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink |

                        Since when is ignoring someone bullying? I will also ignore you, by the way. Why? Because, I don’t think it is possible have a serious debate with someone who elect to have a stupid (and provocative) name like yours or like “the truth hurts”.

                        The difference between you (and Fibroid, jimbo or other casual LNP devotees) and many of us is that our point of view is not motivated by an obsessive political position. It is based on a belief that the best solution should be applied to telecommunications in this country.

                        Many of us, also, are not taken by the political theatre. We have long realised that much happens behind the scene in politics (eg. Abbott and Shorten having a chat behind the speaker’s chair to discuss how they will behave in this parliament.)

                        So, try and spare us your political naivety and feel free (like we do) to ignore those you find annoying.

                      • TrevorX
                        Posted 16/11/2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink |

                        Hahaha yeaahhh…

                        That’s not peak funding. That figure doesn’t take any interest into account. Do you even know what peak funding means? It is the largest sum of capital required before the NBN can begin returning dividends to investors.

                        Also notice how, according to that very table, in 2019 the FTTN NBN is making a loss just on normal OPEX and construction vs revenue? How do you propose it will have ‘peaked’ when revenue is lower than expenditure? How can it even begin to pay down the debt accrued? At what point will revenue overtake OPEX plus interest on financed debt? By what date will Government debt be extinguished? At what position in the future will the FTTN NBN begin paying dividends to investors?

                        It’s nice that you’re trying to join in, but you need to do a bit more homework before you attempt to correct others on a subject you have only a very superficial comprehension of.

                        Thanks for playing!

                      • TrevorX
                        Posted 16/11/2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink |

                        Hey, at least you were trying to debate an actual point. I’ll be interested to see if you accept the correction, though…

                      • haha yeah
                        Posted 16/11/2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink |


                        The cumulative funding requirement rises from FY18 to FY19 because the net cashflow is still negative in FY19. However:

                        “The NBN is projected to be cashflow positive in 2020‐21.”

                        This is why the cum fund req’ment decreases after FY19 — hence cum fund req’ment in that year represents the peak. Sum together “revenue”, “OPEX” and “CAPEX”…. the difference between this sum and the larger cashflow deficit gives you the interest expense.

                        Thanks for stopping by…. let me validate your parking :)

                      • TrevorX
                        Posted 17/11/2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink |

                        That is not ‘peak funding’, it is not how NBN Co calculate or define peak funding (the purpose here of course being finding a meaningful and useful figure for direct comparison). You can’t just make up your own definition and consider it relevant.

                        NBN Co under the FTTP plan would have had positive cash flow (from memory) in around the 2021 period also, yet they would not have returned dividends to investors until 2033. Peak funding takes into account all accumulated interest over the life of the project until the accrued debt is extinguished. Tell me, what is the payback period for the FTTN NBN? We don’t know what those total figures will be for FTTN – as Malcom Turnbull has admitted we don’t even know the scope of private debt they will need to tap into to fund FTTN.

                        The only thing we know for certain about their plan is the cap they have arbitrarily placed on total government debt, which is $29.5bn.

                        I honestly don’t know why you are bothering to debate this point when it is a matter of public record that Stephen Conroy pointed out to Malcom Turnbull that their 29.5bn was only directly comparable to the 30.4bn in total government debt of the FTTP NBN, a point which Turnbull conceded.

                        @Fibroid (the post below this one)
                        That is a mixture of appeals to both popularity and authority, each of which is a logical fallacy. Even Alan Kohler took five months to point out that the infrastructure competition changes proposed in the policy document would undermine the financial viability of the NBN. You can’t claim the invalidity of a fact because others have misunderstood or misrepresented it. Argue the facts, not peripheral circumstances.

                        The fact is we simply don’t have the full picture from the LNP. Even their briefing document states that the way they calculated the cost of their FTTN alternative was to take the cost of FTTP and multiply it by 0.25, because that was a percentage the LNP arbitrarily decided was a likely saving based on international FTTN examples. That kind of back-of-the-envelope conclusion is what Australia’s new telecommunications policy is based upon – an obvious dearth of facts, evidence and due process in preference for ideologically driven opinions and biassed assumptions leading to rigged conclusions.

                        I will concede one point, though – you’ve forced me to engage despite my stated intention to not do so, by attempting to confuse and mislead the discussion through the introduction of fallacious arguments. I can either engage and dispute your nonsense, or ignore you and appear to concede the point. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

                        This is precisely why you’re called trolls and why disingenuous, deliberately and dishonestly misleading people like you should be banned from discussions – not to silence a dissenting point of view, but to reduce the amount of confusing and misleading misinformation masquerading as reasoned debate.

                      • haha yeah
                        Posted 18/11/2013 at 12:46 am | Permalink |


                        Rubbish. (You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.)

                      • Alex
                        Posted 18/11/2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink |

                        And that fits with your own comment “stop bullying posters who disagree with you…”


                      • haha yeah
                        Posted 18/11/2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink |


                        Against my better judgement of not engaging with religious zealots…..

                        Capital invested in the project either in the form of debt, equity or capitalised interest isn’t repaid in an instant. It’s paid back gradually which is why the cumulative funding requirement declines over time. When does it start declining? Obviously when cashflow swings from negative to positive. The year in which it happens (2020) marks the inflection point in the funding requirement. Hence, the funding requirement peaks in 2019. The Coalition policy documents do contain the information you’re after — you just need the skills and ability to read them!!!

                        Keep trolling — I’m done with you.

                      • Alex
                        Posted 18/11/2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink |

                        And again…


                        Still awaiting a simple explanation?

                    • Fibroid
                      Posted 16/11/2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink |


                      Of course what you ignore (again) is that independent analysis uses the $29.5b vs $44.1b in funding comparisons, the latter figure of course now higher at $45.6b.

                      “Labor has costed its policy at about $44.5 billion, while the Coalition has costed its policy at $29.5 billion. ”


                      “The Coalition will save around A$14.6 billion by replacing Labor’s fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) version of the NBN – which, as the name suggests, delivers fibre optic cable to directly to premises – with a cheaper, fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) alternative”


                      Now have a look at the table in the link below on which the above Delimiter article was taken:


                      The comparison of Total Funding of the two policies is $44.1b vs $29.5b.

                  • TrevorX
                    Posted 17/11/2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink |

                    I just realised, you’ve again sidetracked the discussion. I described your behaviour, you asked for examples of it, I provided them, you chose to focus on the points I raised in my example, rather than addressing the (demonstrably accurate) criticism of your behaviour. Are you going to continue to attempt to deny this pattern of behaviour in the face of evidence, or just pretend my comment doesn’t exist again?

                    • Alex
                      Posted 17/11/2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink |

                      May I TrevorX…

                      Been here many times with our friend before.

                      I’d suggest he will (or would have, had I not now pre-empted) accuse you of having nothing, so you have to resort to the personal attack…regardless of the fact that you have supplied factual information and it isn’t an attack… it is simply a clear account of our friends ideologically motivated, argumentative and childish approach to this process… a process which is meant to be friendly and informative but has been turned by a handful of political pawns into a forum of perpetual confrontation :/

                      Hmm, I’ll probably get the same response too, I suppose…LOL

                    • Fibroid
                      Posted 17/11/2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink |


                      This particular part of the discussion is all about funding comparisons between the two policies, when independent analysis ( nothing to do with me) of the two policies funding is shown with full links and examples you decide because it’s getting all to awkward to explain your way out ‘it’s sidetracking the discussion’, when in reality it nails the discussion well and truly.

                      You really need to move on.

                      • TrevorX
                        Posted 17/11/2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink |

                        Of course that’s the bit you chose to focus on. For from it ‘getting too awkward’ I have already demonstrated why your position is flawed, but maybe you missed it? Go back and read my post that appears above your previous one – the commenting system seems to have reached the end of comment threads making it difficult to reply to you and whatshisname, so I replied to both of you within the same post for the sake of simplicity. Do you need me to provide you with a link, or do you think you can figure it out on your own?

                        You are right, though – it would be nice to just move on… If only you would stop making fallacious claims and being so, well, wrong all the time :-)

                      • Fibroid
                        Posted 18/11/2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink |


                        ‘ For from it ‘getting too awkward’ I have already demonstrated why your position is flawed,’

                        It’s not JUST my position, to demonstrate any flaw you need to show why independent analysis in comparison of funding is flawed, you have not done that and understandably avoided it.

                        The ABC did a good comparison of the two policies before the election as well, in even more detail.


                        They use the total funding of $44.1 vs $29.5b figures, the same as the other independent analysis I provided.

                        ‘If only you would stop making fallacious claims and being so, well, wrong all the time :-)’

                        I repeat they are not JUST my claims, you need show why all those funding comparisons are fallacious.

                • Alex
                  Posted 15/11/2013 at 10:44 pm | Permalink |

                  +Heaps TrevorX…

                  You have described the situation completely and factually…

      • KingForce
        Posted 15/11/2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink |

        “The Libs continually side tracked the committee and members of NBN Co with ridiculous questions, asking questions that had been answered, bickering and trying to score political points.”

        At the last JCNBN (19 April 2013) lots of important questions were asked by the Coalition.

        Malcolm Turnbull and Simon Birmingham asked about:
        – cost per premises
        – when NBN Co knew that it would not be able to reach its mid year 2013 construction targets
        – what options NBN Co had investigated with respect to hooking up MDUs
        – how often contractors reported back to NBN Co


        “Hopefully this time, there will be far less of the ridiculous antics, and far more answers”

        The Senate Committee that the Greens and Labor propose is just a committee reviewing the NBN Co reviews.

        It would have been a lot better if the JCNBN were to continue. The JCNBN has scope to look at the CBA/report/review done by NBN Co so there isn’t really any need to form a Senate Committee to do that.

        • Lionel
          Posted 16/11/2013 at 12:08 am | Permalink |

          Yes, he asked some relevant ones. They didn’t put all the defamation of Quigley’s character and the other pointless stupid digs in the report.

    6. Soth
      Posted 15/11/2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink |

      Oh man there’s that picture again :(
      Anyway, nice article once again Renai, smashing them out this week!

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