Senate passes motion to publicise ACCC, expert panel reports on NBN

But opposition fails to oblige government to publicise reports before NBN tender is awarded

The Senate has passed a motion that will see reports on the National Broadband Network (NBN) bid by the ACCC and the expert panel made public the day after the winning bid is announced.

Shadow communications minister, Senator Nick Minchin, issued a statement last night stating that he had submitted a motion which would have required the government to furnish the reports in the Senate today.

But a compromise was reached that allowed the motion to pass with the support of Family First Senator Stephen Fielding, requiring the reports be published the day after the NBN tender is awarded.

Minchin said Conroy had failed to deliver on claims that the NBN process would be open and transparent.

“While I maintain this advice should be publicly released before a successful tenderer is chosen, the Senate has agreed that at the very least they should be tabled immediately after a winning bid is announced,” Minchin said in the statement.

“Public scrutiny of this crucial advice to the government will enable a proper assessment of whether Labor is acting truly in the national interest and not purely in its short-term political interest.”

The government’s decision to veil recommendations made by the NBN expert panel from public scrutiny has attracted mixed opinions from the telco industry.

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