Now Hockey contradicts Turnbull on NBN costs


news Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has joined Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in contradicting comments made by Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the budget accounting for Labor’s National Broadband Network project, describing the NBN’s off-budget treatment as “accounting tricks”, despite the accounting model having been independently verified.

In a statement issued this week following the Government’s release of its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), Hockey said the update was “a confused document, from a confused and dishonest Government”.

“Once again, Labor tries to con Australians with yet more money shuffles, Hockey said, slamming the Federal Government’s decision to introduce monthly PAYG tax for large companies. “Without these changes, Labor’s promised Budget surplus in 2013-14, an election year, would not be a surplus, but a deficit of over $3 billion.”

“This money shuffle is on top of at least $10 billion of money shuffles for the current financial year, when the Government is also keeping almost $6 billion of NBN spending ‘off budget’. Without these accounting tricks, Labor’s almost invisible $1 billion surplus for this year would be a deficit of $15 billion or more.” The comments came just a day after Tony Abbott said a Coalition Government would “pause” the NBN project and save money in the Federal Budget by doing so.

However, it appears as if the comments by both Hockey and Abbott that the Government could save money through scrapping the NBN are both factually inaccurate and contradict the stated view of Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the issue.

Over the past several years, a number of senior Liberal figures, including Abbott, Hockey, Finance Spokesperson Andrew Robb and Turnbull himself have repeatedly claimed that the tens of billions of dollars the Federal Government is investing in its NBN project should be classified as an expense under the Federal Budget. Several of these same figures have argued that because of this, the NBN’s funding could be more appropriate allocated to other types of public infrastructure such as roads, instead of spending it on an NBN project which the Coalition has largely seen as expensive and unnecessary. It is this argument which Hockey and Abbott have appeared to make this week.

However, the Coalition is believed to have been factually incorrect in its claims that the NBN funding should be included on the Federal Budget as an expense and could thus be cut to save money. Most of the funding for the NBN does not appear in the Budget, as, according to accounting standards, it is not an expense as generally understood, but is actually a capital investment expected to generate (according to its corporate plan) a modest return of 7.1 percent on the Government’s investment, over the period through to 2030.

According to a research note published last year by the Parliamentary Library of Australia, Labor is technically correct on this matter, and the Coalition is wrong. “Australia has adopted internationally accepted accounting standards, and these are applied in the budget treatment of the NBN,” the library’s Brian Dalzell, who works in its economics division, wrote in the report.

Consequently, Hockey’s comments yesterday that the NBN’s budget treatment was an “accounting trick” appear to be factually incorrect, as the accounting treatment of the NBN is correct by modern accounting standard.

Turnbull has over the past several years made a number of similar statements. However, in early September, facing substantial criticism on the issue from the Government and industry commentators, in a small note published at the end of a lengthy response to a critique of the Coalition’s rival NBN policy by Business Spectator, Turnbull appeared to acknowledge the correctness of the NBN budget treatment — a position which would be the reverse of the one Abbott appeared to take today.

“Under the accounting rules the expenditure on the NBN does not count towards the budget outcome – so much deficit or surplus – but it is cash – real money – nonetheless and it does add to the debt burden of Australians,” Turnbull said at the time.

The only way that pausing or cancelling the NBN project could affect the Commonwealth’s financial position — under a Labor or Coalition administration — is to allow the Federal Government to re-allocate the debt funding it has and continues to invest in the NBN to other projects. In short, although the Government is already borrowing money to build the NBN, it is possible to make an argument that those borrowings could be re-allocated elsewhere. However, with the Australian Government continuing to enjoy a AAA credit rating from several major ratings agencies, it is unlikely that the Government will have any difficulty borrowing further money (for example, through issuing government bonds). This means that pausing or cancelling the NBN project would be likely to have little or no impact on the Government’s ability to source debt funding.

Hockey’s comments come as the latest in a long line of inaccurate and misleading statements the Shadow Treasurer has made about the NBN project. Earlier this month, for example, Hockey claimed the National Broadband Network could cost as much as $100 billion to build, despite the company’s own estimates showing that it will require around $37 billion of capital injection from the Government and eventually make a return, paying back the investment with some profit on top. In June, in another example, Hockey inaccurately claimed that 4G mobile broadband had the potential to be “far superior” to the fibre technology of the NBN.

I’d say we have a fairly serious situation if the Shadow Treasurer cannot tell the difference between a capital investment and an expense. Wouldn’t you? I’m only a small business owner who almost failed Accounting 1A at university, but even I know the difference between the two. I am tired of writing about this issue. When even Malcolm Turnbull has acknowledged that the Government’s accounting treatment of the NBN is correct, why does Joe Hockey continue to make factually incorrect statements on this issue?

Image credit: Office of Joe Hockey


  1. They do it because they have nothing else with which to fire off over. And given the NBN’s popularity, the only way to kill it is with FUD.

    • 44% of us want the fastest service the NBN can deliver. Hopefully that’s 44% of us that realise they’ll never get anything like that speed under the LNP and vote accordingly.

  2. Hockey said it again on ABC News Breakfast this morning. I literally shouted at the TV that the hosts didn’t bat an eyelid.
    Uninformed journalists are worse than useless. If you can’t ask a hard question, why bother having them on the show? Just hand them an Ad-slot and you don’t have to waste money paying a personality to sit there and pretend to be journalists.

      • This isn’t the first time. The ABC journalists are just like the others. Too willing to sympathise with and support the Liberal Party’s arguments yet always questioning anything Labor/NBNco says on this matter. I think it may be due to the Liberal Party’s presentation of their non-existent alternative as simpler and necessary whilst making the NBN seem like an unnecessary white elephant so no one really probes the Liberals on this matter.

        None of these journalists have bothered to understand the NBN and like the whole climate change debate, to counter the FUD, hyperbole and lies, you need to understand the NBN or science behind climate change. Its easy to spread FUD but not as easy to refute it if you don’t have a good understanding because it takes just a split second for a small fault or lack of understanding to be exposed on which they can attack and elaborate and make more FUD which you have no chance of refuting because you simply do not know.

    • Mainly because what Joe said come out of left field. The NBN was not part of the MYEFO.
      I was gobsmacked too that he lobbed in something so irrelevant to the conversation.

      He’s like a dog, that can’t help but running up to the same car every week and taking a piss on its tyres. No matter how much you try to educate him, he still doesn’t learn.

      • Actually thats standard Coalition tactics these days..

        Ask a question… and u get “Government bad coz of A”.

        But thats not what I asked… “But government still bad coz of “A”!

  3. Heck, forget the NBN for a moment.

    These people want to run our country, and they can’t even talk to each other to get a message straight?


    • +1
      …and not only that but they seem to think that we voters are stupid enough to believe the rubbish they spout.

    • Just yesterday I mentioned that it “Sounds like their whole party is in disarray on the NBN issue too”, this latest line from Hockey is just further confirmation of that. I look forward to the next contradiction. Place your bets. My money is on Fletcher :-)

      • I don’t think that the Liberal party is in disarray regarding the NBN issue. I think the issue is more that Malcolm is “freelancing” in trying to talk about the NBN in semi-accurate terms.

        • Au contraire.

          The ‘official’ LNP line is to be against the NBN, yet we see Liberal and National MPs demanding it be rolled out in their electorates sooner.

          Two poles of the same argument, from the same party.

          ‘Disarray’ might not be the correct word, but there is certainly a lack of consistency in the message.

          • Coalition’s messages definitely appear to lack consistency under Tony Abbott’s leadership… however, I don’t think it is a sign of their disorganisation or stupidity. There is a common thread to their statements (not just NBN-related): constant and forceful criticism and oppositioneering of anything and everything coming from the other side, at any cost and from any angle, irrespective of those angles being mutually incompatible or contradictory.

            This “all things to all people” strategy is intellectually dishonest, but it appears to have been quite effective up till now, in as far as public support through opinion polls is concerned. The strategy relies on short attention spans and general disengagement of the electorate, and is very compatible with the modern media cycle and our irresponsible, scandal-chasing media, in which the need for ever more bombastic infotainment material trumps such quaint notions as journalistic standards and ethics.

            Labor is not much better in this area (which may be the reason they are not pointing out the Coalition’s inconsistencies as strongly as they should), although they are somewhat constrained by being in government and having direct responsibility for acting on what they say.

            Hopefully, the polies are underestimating the voters’ intelligence and common sense… Or we go down the way of US “politics”.

          • Not extinct yet, just endangered – and only found in supportive environments like Delimiter.

      • Yeh definitely disagreement within the Liberal party room over the NBN. Abott is against it because he is ill informed and its politically good for him to be against it (Bitching about the cost etc). The shadow cabinet other than Turnbull seems to be towing Abotts line. But it seems Turnbull and the back benchers are pro NBN and realise its a vote winner and a good policy. I just hope once in government they abandon the vote winning stance and adopt the NBN anyway as good policy cause lets face it, no matter how popular the NBN is, Labor is screwed.

  4. “the Shadow Treasurer cannot tell the difference between a capital investment and an expense”

    I’m sure you know that’s not true. His failure is in being unfamiliar with a technicality in accounting standards that others before him have similarly misunderstood. Make no mistake, the man is an idiot, but he knows the difference between capex and expenses.

    There are other far greater failings on his part, like today when he said “Now the government seems to want to penalise anyone that has a second or third child. I think that worked quite well in China, didn’t it?”

    #hockeyisms on Twitter for more like that pearler.

      • After a few minutes, some words have come to me. This statement is amazing. It both trivialises the hurt and damage caused by China’s one-child policy, and thus insults those against the communist government and this policy, and at the same time establishes that Australians are superior to Chinese and should have as many children as possible, and thus insults those in favour of the one-child policy as well as the communist government and China in general.

        Well done, Joe Hockey, may you never be in government.

        • i think tony just became the second most worrying figure in the LNP as of the moment.

          holy crap does the man listen to anything falling out of his mouth? i think Emma had his measure. i only read the transcript but i was getting a distinct weasel vibe the whole way through, more so in some parts than others. Grade A narcissist tho, crowing about his speech in Europe; i havent read it but i predict he was preaching austerity to them and probably at a Conservatives shindig. preaching to the converted and all that…. a pretty softball moment for Joe really, i suspect.

          but that crack about China? hoo boy. look if the LNP want to run the show they have to prove themselves capable first. they aint going to do it for me doing that. as for them….i seriously wonder what the Chinese must be thinking of the prospect of an LNP government. that would be a fly on the wall moment, as long as theres a babelfish that small….

      • I’m afraid you underestimate the general public’s willingness to listen to a remark like this, nod sagely and say “Oh yes, that Labor mob are trying to make us more like China EVERY DAY.”

    • I think I might like Joe Hockey’s idea. I can borrow some money, buy a stack of shares on the stock exchange and then claim the payment as a tax deduction because it’s an expense, not an investment.

      • See Margin Loans.

        The interest from a loan that is dedicated towards an investment is fully tax deductible. However, since the major loan most people have is the mortgage on their home (not an investment) it is not tax deductible.

        Very risky form of finance.

        • No, no, no! Well… yes. But thats not what Stephen is saying. He’s saying that if you follow the Liberal mentality, the loan amount gets claimed as well!

          Hockey is saying that the capital expense is a cost that goes into the general accounting, much like the deductions in a tax return.

          Stephen’s managed to summarise the Liberal accounting approach in one simple way – they want the mortgage to be a tax deduction. Not the interest, but the whole lot.

        • I will admit i have been so disgusted with thier performance at the MYEFO that I have stopped listening. Why did they attack the baby bonus cuts and not the new corporate tax payments? Why conflate the NBN into it at all when there are easy methods to score points on the govt and to continue cutting welfare.

  5. The Coalition is all about hyperbol hyperbol hyperbol. This snip sums it up nicely “a confused and dishonest Government”.

    It’s not about facts. It’s not about what you believe in. It’s about doing anything you can to grab power. If that means creating a culture of fear then that is what they will do. Hell, Tony Abbot excels at it. Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good fear campaign.

  6. And now Turnbull is calling this part of the SAU wrong:

    > Commitment that all prices will fall in real terms;

    In this response to Graeme Samuel:

    > Because by any calculation, the NBN Co proposals made so far do NOT mean typical prices in real terms will stay the same, as Senator Conroy claims – prices will rise in real terms for decades to come, as NBN Co recovers every cent of its losses on the vast and undisciplined investment it is making in its network (all of it uplifted at an interest rate of 9 per cent each year) from consumers.

    Evidence? Bah, who needs that.

    • Just to query that but isn’t the NBN wholesale rate two components.
      A fixed rental based upon the speed.
      A variable charge based upon bandwidth usage.

      The fixed component will not change and will maintain its value in real terms.
      However, internet bundles have been decreasing in prices while data allowances have been increasing simultaneously. Is it not possible that the increase in price from the variable component will out weight the other side of the equation and cause a real price rise?

      • > Coverage of all services and products offered by NBN Co, on all its networks (fibre, fixed wireless and satellite), including ancillary services and facilities access services;

        > Commitment that all prices will fall in real terms;

        > Price rises on all products or services limited to 1.5% less than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in any one year and cannot be accumulated if not used;

        And, to a lesser extent: Prices of key products remain the same until June 2017;

      • quink

        So that is true for bundles using similar bandwith allowances to currently available.

        But it does not address the concern of rising bandwidth. Given that the variable component is already incorporated into the pricing model they do not have to change anything. The price will automatically increase as bandwidth usage does. That component has already been approved so is it not feasible if bandwidth usage increases enough (as a lot of predictions so it will), then the price of plans will increase as well.

        • There was a little story a week or two ago, where the Liberal leadership got up in Parliment shouting about a little old grannies power bill. Seems here bill had doubled and (I think I got this right) “80% of that rise was because of the carbon tax”… In fact, 9% was from the carbon tax and the rest was from using more electricity.

          Message is simple – use more, pay more, dont blame the boogeyman.

          If you use the same as now, the prices are pretty much the same, which was all that was ever promised. Somewhere along the line though, people have gotten the misconception that because there is a fourfold increase in speed (well… 16x for most, but working on actual 24 Mps jumping to 100 Mps – work with me here), there should be a fourfold increase in bandwidth for the same price.

          Doesnt work that way, the costs are still associated with how much you use the service, and as time goes on those bandwidths will naturally increase through competition, just like they always have. So by the time most people NEED 500 gig/month, that will be a base deal.

          Personally, i expect most ISP’s to be offering 500 gig/month sooner rather than later at bargain prices. there are several stories going around about IPTV being big in the next 12-18 months, so those bandwidths are going to become popular. Or more popular.

        • It is true that by increasing the bandwidth available it is a “new” product. However, the other issue to highlight as well is that the trend has been for prices to decrease or stay constant while quotas to increase exponentially.

          How will the NBN affect this? Is it a natural limit to the fall in prices in the market or is it a distortion based upon the monopoly status of the NBN and the way they have formulated their wholesale pricing.

          Are prices going to start rising for increasing quotas?

          • “Are prices going to start rising for increasing quotas?” — well theres the rub in a single sentence. I believe no, simply based on what’s happened with increasing quotas to date. There will always be an Exetel, or Dodo, or TPG undercutting the big players prices, and thats been enough to keep the money grabbing to a minimum.

            Because I use them, I’ll use TPG as an example. When I first started with them some 5 1/2 years ago, their $50 plan got me ADSL2+ with something like 20 gig download. May have been 50 gig, its been a while. Anyhow, that $50 plan kept changing, and kept becoming a ‘new’ plan. Price stayed the same, but that 20 or 50 gig became 100 gig, then 200 gig, then 500 gig or unlimited.

            As needs increased, that plan was modified to fill the need. Pretty much every other ISP did the same thing – their plans adapted over time to account for increased needs.

            Right NOW 500 gig is clearly more than enough, at least for 95% of the population. But in the years to come it wont be, particularly as IPTV moves in over the next couple of years. So whats currently a $30/100 gig plan (to pick random numbers) will change to be a $30/500 gig plan, and the $50/500 gig plan will be something like $50/2Tb.

            What happens at that point, I dont know. What I do know is that the ISP’s are subsidised up to 150 Gb of… something I admitedly dont quite understand, but that once an ISP hits a certain volume of users on a specific POI that subsidy is meaningless anyhow. Bumping the bandwidth up at that point wont push prices up, it will just be a reflection of customer needs.

            To put it a different way, costs are going to dictate this much more than anything else. If there is a cliffpoint where prices escalate dramatically (like going from a subsidised 100 Mps connection to a non-subsidised 1 Gps) then the cost factor will keep most users at the cheaper point. The market will fill in the gaps after that as needed.

            Appologies for misusing any terminology, its been a long couple of days.

  7. I think the Coalition has small man syndrome. Needs to come out fighting against basically anyone who dares push them around with considered opinions, expert knowledge and the like. They really are becoming quite Palin-esque, and not the “good” Palin at that.

    Global warming? Nope we have a different opinion. Accounting standards? Not on our watch mate. Shannons Law, Network design, International relations. Towing boats (really, why tow them when you could just hole them, that would be significantly more effective all round).

    Sorry, having a “Just.. WHAT?” day.

  8. Can i sue the Libs for damages caused by the amount of facepalms I’m doing recently?

  9. “Hockey said the update was “a confused document, from a confused and dishonest Government”.”

    I guess everything looks confusing and dishonest when you don’t understand the basic principles, hey Joe?

  10. Suprise suprise, the coalition have communication problems when discussion communication infrastructure…

  11. maybe it’s just me, but it seems as though abbott and hockey are trying to distance themselves from turnbull.
    perhaps to stave off any leadership challenge from turnbull.

    i got the impression from turnbull recently that he was starting the ball rolling on a leadership challenge.

    abbott clearly has hockey’s support, so the two of them (and whoever else they can wrangle support from) are planting the seeds in the minds of everyone that turnbull is making incorrect statements on his own and away from the party line. (two senior members have contradicted him twice, therefore he must be wrong)

  12. This isn’t really all that surprising. Hockey also can’t tell the difference between an “audit” and a one-page document which costs their election promises wrong by around $11bn and ends up with the “independent” accounting firm being prosecuted for breaking accounting standards.

  13. Renai, given this problem keeps popping up, despite your great efforts at Delimiter to maintain factual reporting on the NBN, is it time to take the next step?

    Conservative Liberal folk, except perhaps Malcolm Turnbull, may not come here to Delimiter, and paper journalists may not have time to read through the nuances. Would you consider preparing an infopack that could be printed and sent to conservative politicians and journalists? (I say printed, on the grounds that these kinds of people may be more likely to read a paper document than an electronic pdf).

    You (…we…) could keep track of where opposition members will be speaking to the media, and make sure that the journalists and news producers have the infopack before the interview takes place.

    • “Would you consider preparing an infopack that could be printed and sent to conservative politicians and journalists?”

      It’s not really my role to do this kind of thing, but I assure you that the Powers that Be do take Delimiter seriously these days. At this stage I believe every politician with an interest in the tech/telco sector and most of the sector CEOs read Delimiter daily. What we do here has a larger impact than people realise.

      Having said that, if you want to use the Delimiter forum to gather support for this kind of initiative, I’ll highlight and promote such an effort :D

      • heh, like projects in open source software… who’s available with time to scratch this itch? :)

          • That would be the best way to make it collaborative. I can’t start it the next few days but I’ll start thinking over the logistics.

  14. Like some of the other commentators here, I nearly threw something at the TV screen this morning when I sat and watched a smug Hockey again promoting his ridiculous assertion that the NBN should be “on the budget” and it was a “hidden debt”. In fact, the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t dressed in a Ronald MacDonald suit…..

    But seriously, if this is what he and his discredited leader think (and, hey they must do as we all know that politicians never lie…..), then I believe there are very serious implications for the future of telecommunications policy in Australia and the NBN in particular.

    I think any option of a LNP Government funding the building of a FTTN network via NBN Co is completely dead in the water. There is NO way that a LNP Government will EVER allow any form of network – FTTN, wireless, FTTP even – to be built by a GBE such as NBN Co. There are only two conclusions you can possibly draw from this constant carping about the ‘hidden NBN debt’ .

    The first, and I believe the most likely, is that they will sell or even gift all of the NBN assets to – probably – Telstra. Get the whole process and funding off the Government’s back. Telstra will be given some financial incentive as a subsidy to continue with a partial, and half-hearted rollout and we, as consumers, will be rooted.

    The second, less likely option, is that they will just indefinitely pause (aka halt) the whole rollout, and claim updating the communications network is all too expensive given “….the terrible state of the finances the Labor Government left behind” (sic).

    A LNP Government, led by Abbot with Hockey as treasurer, will NEVER, EVER allow any form of GBE network build, regardless of, and despite any frothing pronouncement by Turnbull. Hockey and Abbot surreptitiously confirm it every time they open their mouths and mention NBN in the same breath.

  15. Personally, I don’t really care about this non-issue, but there are implications to the overall governing of the country.

    First of all, the government is totally correct in its interpretation of the GAAP standards for the classification of the NBN as an asset… So long as you accept the assertion that the goal of government investment in infrastructure is to make a positive return on investment.

    The second point is about cash accounting. By not putting it on the balance sheet, Labor gets to balance the books but at the same time it is bleeding cash. The implication of that being that the government has to get cash from somewhere, so it’s like an off balance sheet debt.

    Third point, longer term if the NBN doesn’t make a positive return then future governments are going to have to wear this long term depreciation debt. It’s the old saying from Popeye, “Can I pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today?” To be fair, it’ll be like $1.5B per year, so it’s not massive, but hey, when you just cut $500m from University Research, that $1.5B is significant long term in that respect.

    Finally, my personal feeling is that if I’d have been more comfortable with the NBN as a project if the government would have recognised the expenses as they incurred them. It would have blow big holes in their budgets and whatever else, but it would have worked it’s way through the economy in one hit.

    Both sides of government make a point, but the reality of politics is that if the roles were ENTIRELY reversed, it would be Hockey arguing the validity of keeping the NBN off the balance sheet and Wayne Swan arguing for it to be an expense because that’s something they can make political hay with.

    They’re all grubs.

    • Hi Sean,

      First point.
      You don’t have to accept an assertion about governments roles. All you need to accept is a couple of publicly available business plans, the McKinsky plan, and the audited imparement test included in the NBN’s anual reports to justify the treatment of the NBN as an asset in the general goverments hands.

      Second point.
      The NBN is included in the budget as an asset at the genral government level of it’s balance sheet.
      Table two, fourth line down, “investment in other public sector entities” which is growing by about $20 billion over the next five years. It’s not all the NBN, there is Australia Post, Mediback private, and the RBA in there as well. Currently the NBN is getting its additonal funding from issuing goverment securities, which have a massive demand from foreign central banks and australian banks. The interest on these debts, and any future dividends from the NBN will all be included in the general goverment results. No hiding things there, and it’s all on the balance sheet.

      Third point.
      Yes, if the NBN is a financial failure, the outstanding interest will have an impact on the budget. IF….
      There are a couple of layers of financial slack in the NBN business model right now.
      Firstly, if the number of subscribers is below forecast, the Special Access Undertaking, which regulates from the ACCC the terms and prices of the wholesale NBN access, allows the prices to not reduce as quickly as planed until the NBN is actuall profitable.
      Secondly, there are other revenue sources such as mobile tower backhaul that haven’t been included in the NBN business plans yet, but will potenially offset a below planned rate of subscription.
      Personally, I’m quite confident that the NBN will generate a positive rate of return, which will render your concerns moot.

      The “hit” of the NBN will just take over from the “hit” of telstra’s fixed line business. And that was included in the budget in the same way as the NBN is.

      I don’t believe that the Mr Swan would make as big a deal about the NBN accounting as Mr Hockey is. Mainly due to Labor not generally relying on debt scare campains for election. (see Mr Howards debt truck, Mr Joyce’s statements about debt defaults, etc)

      Politicians are grubs, but some grubs are used to treat gangrene, like the decaying rotten copper in telstra’s ducts.

  16. Delimiter
    Just the NBN. Just finding ways to defend it and to attack its opponents no matter how much twisting of the facts that requires.

    • Gordon Drennan
      The NBN. Just finding ways to oppose it and to attack its proponents no matter how much twisting of the facts that requires.

    • There not many facts to be twisted for a “pro” NBN stance Gordon, everything is on the table, the price/cost/benefits aare on the table. Most of the twisting comes from the “anti” NBN side where even the “cost” of the NBN changes constantly.

      Any honest question here, are you in favor of buying investments and making a profit from those investments?

  17. I have no problem with the NBN being the way it is….

    I just wish politics get on with the bloody thing.

    I have never claim to be for or against any party at all.

    However, Parliament has to respect & recognize those that are in need for Infrastructure (including EDU/Health and etc).

    Otherwise we have classroom of idiots.

    I call upon the Parliament to stop being children.

    • Agree. Sick of the oppose just because it was their idea and not ours, that goes on in parliament. Would be nice to clear out some of the old wood floating around in parliament and get some of the younger generations in there.

  18. Michael Wyres said: “These people want to run our country, and they can’t even talk to each other to get a message straight? Yee-gads…”

    Perhaps that is exactly what they are doing. By contradicting Malcolm’s (begrudging) acknowledgement on NBN accounting, they’re likely trying to put him back in his box. Of late, Malcolm’s weighed in frequently on various topics outside of his portfolio and with Abbott’s personal approval ratings going down the S-bend, it might the right time to throttle Malcolm’s obvious leadership ambitions.

      • There certainly are.

        And they’re not all found only on one side of politics, either.

        Now back to some objective comments about the NBN…

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