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Yesterday it was Malcolm Turnbull, now Steven Conroy is turning on Tony Abbott, accusing him of “wilfully” misleading the public on NBN.

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Steven Conroy on the attack.

Minister for Broadband, Senator Steven Conroy, has launched a verbal attack on Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, accusing him of wilfully misleading Australians with his remarks on the $36bn National Broadband Network in his Budget reply, yesterday.

Opposition leader Mr Abbott claimed in Parliament the cost to consumers of NBN services could be three times higher than  currently.

“That is just wrong. Prices for NBN plans released to date are cheaper than, or equivalent to, existing ADSL plans, but with much improved quality of service,” Senator Conroy said in a statement this afternoon.

“Skymesh is offering NBN services from $29.95 per month. Extel’s entry-level plan costs $35 per month. A number of other retail providers, including Optus, offer NBN services starting from $39.95 and $49.95 per month,” he added. 

“Thanks to the NBN, competition between retail providers is increasing,” Conroy insists in his second major attack on against the Opposition in just 24 hours. 

Conroy also said Tony Abbott should “check his facts” before delivering a national address to Parliament and claims Abbott “pretends” that investing in “affordable” broadband should be replaced by more spending on roads.

“Mr Abbott clearly doesn’t understand that the NBN is classified by international accounting standards as an equity investment rather than a budget expense. This is consistent with long-standing budget treatment applied by this and previous Australian Governments.”

This comes just a day after Conroy accused Liberal MP and Shadow Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, of being “lazy, financially illiterate, or both” after he accused Labor of a $400 million “blowout” on NBN.

 

The equity investment in the NBN cannot be shifted to pay for more roads, unless those roads are being run by a government business making a return, the Broadband and Communications Minister claims.

“In delivering its Budget surplus, Labor is investing in the NBN and Australia’s infrastructure.”

He also cited a $36 billion infrastructure and investment program, including $3.6 bn for the duplication of the Pacific Highway.

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