Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has called on the Gillard Government to drop the National Broadband Network project and spend the savings spent on flood recovery.””This really is a project that doesn’t stack up and it shouldn’t go ahead. It particularly shouldn’t be going ahead at a time like this,” said Abbott.
He added that unspent funds under the Government’s stimulus package should also be diverted to flood recovery, along with funds devoted to initiatives such as the Government’s “cash for clunkers” election promise.
Earlier yesterday, Prime Minister Julia Gillard warned the flood damages bill could force cuts to government spending. She did not identify any likely programs to be cut.
Tackling another NBN issue, the PM confirmed the public would not get access to information held by NBN Co, after the Financial Review revealed it had been turned down in freedom-of-information requests on the grounds that NBN Co is an incorporated company and hence not subject to FoI laws.
“My understanding is that this is the ordinary operation of the Freedom of Information Act; that a body like NBN Co would not be subject to it,” Gillard said.
The Opposition and the Greens have both said they will push for NBN Co to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act when Parliament resumes.