Abbott: Government must "rethink spending" due to floods

Opposition leader reignites NBN debate as Queensland begins flood clean up

The Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, has used a visit to flood-afflicted Queensland to push for a change in Government spending priorities in what is most likely an attack on the National Broadband Network.

Abbott made the comments in Brisbane earlier today. He said it would be more important than ever for the Government to be a “responsible steward of the nation’s finances”.

“I don’t want to get too political at this stage, but the Government needs to be very careful about its priorities,” he said. “It is important that we get back to surplus on schedule but plainly there are going to be very large additional demands on the budget.

“That means the Government needs to rethink its priorities at this time.”

The comments come days after Abbott made similar comments in a Sydney press conference criticising the NBN and the Government’s determination to stick with the rollout despite floods.

“The undoubted substantial costs of responding to the flood disaster in Queensland…call further into question the wisdom of spending $50 billion plus of taxpayers’ money on a NBN,” he said. “I really think that the costs of responding to the flood disaster really emphasise the need to think again on the National Broadband Network.”

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