Treasury costings scant on NBN details

During the budget process the amount Labor expected to hold in the Contingency Reserve for the NBN wasn't disclosed

You might have expected that the Treasury's costings of the two major party's election policies -- released to the Independents and the media late yesterday -- would contain a fair amount of detail about how much each party's wildly differing broadband policy would cost.

Not so.

Despite the Coalition's pledge to cancel Labor's $43 billion National Broadband Network project, Treasury analysis of the impact (PDF) showed just a $900 million saving to public debt interest payments over four years if the Coalition was to win Government.

Labor's document (PDF) doesn't contain any mention of the NBN at all -- a fact that is consistent with Prime Minister Julia Gillard's statement on Friday that although Opposition Leader Tony Abbott had sought access to a full costing of the NBN, the full NBN costings were disclosed in the Pre-Election Fiscal Outlook prepared by Treasury.

"If he seeks to have a briefing from Treasury and Finance for a more detailed assessment of those Budget figures then of course that will be made available to him," Gillard said.

The PEFO document -- available online -- does contain a costing for the NBN, repeating the Government's line during the last Federal Budget that allocation had been made for the NBN in the Contingency Reserve -- an allowance held principally to reflect "anticipated events that cannot be assigned to individual programs" during the budget preparation process.

During the budget process the amount Labor expected to hold in the Contingency Reserve for the NBN wasn't disclosed -- but in the PEFO it was -- $13.6 billion wothof future equity investments over three years to the 2013-2014 financial year.

Various other tidbits of funding related to the NBN were also disclosed in the PEFO -- for example, the cost of establishing a universal service obligation company to maintain services in the bush -- for a total of $100 million in 2012 and 2013 and $100 million a year ongoing from that point. Up to $100 million was also allocated to the cost of retraining Telstra staff under the agreement with NBN Co.

In addition, the PEFO also states that the Government made provision in the last budget of $18.3 billion over the forward estimated (including $18.1 billion of equity) for the rollout of the NBN, based on the recommendations of the NBN Implementation Study.

However, the PEFO also notes that the exact timing and amount of NBN funding -- including the Telstra deal -- will be determined as part of the Government's as of yet unreleased response to the implementation study and also the final Telstra agreement.

The exact funding allocation for the NBN has been a matter of some contention even without the involvement of the both sides of politics in the election.

For example, several weeks ago the Federal Parliamentary Library released its own analysis of the NBN funding to date, noting the total expected funding costs of the NBN did not match the identified funding allocation in the last budget, partly because of the ongoing nature of the NBN project.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags National Broadband Network: Regulatory Reform for 21st Century Broadband

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Renai LeMay

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?