DEPARTMENT DISTANCES ITSELF FROM FLETCHER’S MISLEADING NBN CLAIMS

MICHELLE ROWLAND MP.
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6 months ago
DEPARTMENT DISTANCES ITSELF FROM FLETCHER’S MISLEADING NBN CLAIMS
MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
The Department of Communications has thrown Minister Fletcher under a bus, refusing to associate itself with his misleading claims about the original fibre NBN rollout.

Senator PRATT: On 23 February in the House of Representatives the minister made the following claim, 'If we'd stuck with Labor's plan, then we would in 2020 have had five million fewer Australian premises able to connect.' What is the source of this statement?

Departmental Official: I would have to take that on notice.

Senator PRATT: Has he misled the parliament?

Departmental Official: I don't know the answer to the question as to the source, so I'd need to take that on notice.

Labor Senators spent six months seeking to establish the reference for this false claim.

The Department, on behalf of the Minister, initially claimed the source was the 2013 Strategic Review, but were unable to provide a page number when pressed. After two months, the Department has now confirmed the Minister effectively swindled them as well:

The Department does not manage the Minister’s Twitter account and did not provide advice on the Minister’s statement to the House of Representatives on 23 February 2021. The Department has nothing further to add to its answer to Question on Notice No. 73 from the October 2020 Budget Estimates.

In other words, there is no source, and the Minister is just making things up.

Minister Fletcher just needs to accept that his $57,000,000,000 multi-technology mix is an embarrassing debacle.
Communications and the Arts