blog Call us sticklers for the truth, but it does seem rather like Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been jumping back and forth recently over the issue of whether the Coalition’s rival National Broadband Network policy has been costed.
Those of you with memories of even passing strength will recall that in mid-August, the Financial Review quoted Turnbull as stating that the Coalition had a fully costed policy document “ready” to be released, based along similar lines as the fibre to the node rollout currently being implemented in the UK.
But just one short month down the track, Turnbull appears to have changed his mind about the issue completely, telling the ABC this morning that the Coalition “not in a position to be able to fully cost its policy before the next election” (that’s a paraphrase by the ABC). Aunty then quotes the Earl of Wentworth as saying (we recommend you click here for the full article):
“Our policy will be costed in the sense that we can provide very hard, reliable estimates of the relative cost of our approach, but we are not in a position to provide an alternative, if you like, to the NBN Co’s corporate plan because we simply don’t access to the contractual information.”
Personally, I don’t really care that much whether the Coalition’s NBN policy is “fully costed” — whatever that means in today’s political environment (I assume it means handing over a document to the Treasury to be verified, but I’m not sure what degree of legitimacy that would confer on it). What I personally want to know is some key financial details about the Coalition’s rival NBN policy — details such as what its capital cost will be, what its projected return on investment will be, how it will take into account the NBN’s existing contracts and infrastructure and so on. You know. The little things. Rational people tend to be a stickler for things like that.