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Public must come first in review of NBN

The public interest must come first in the review of the NBN, the Greens said today.

Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said that telecommunications users, advocacy groups and industry must be consulted and the review of the NBN made open and accountable to the public.

"Malcolm Turnbull has purged the board and might seek to remake the NBN in his own image, but the NBN is public infrastructure paid for by the Australian people - and the public have a right to know what is happening and to make their voices heard.

"Users, a cross section of the industry, and advocacy groups - including representatives of remote and regional communities who need better telecommunications services - should be involved and the review must be open and accountable to the public.

"The last time the Coalition privatised a publicly-owned telecommunications enterprise the results were disastrous. We don't want to see a repeat performance with the NBN. The Greens secured safeguards against privatising the NBN in order to protect consumers' rights. It would be gravely mistaken for the review to operate under the baseless assumption that a privatised network will deliver what Australia needs.

"We also urge the review to be independent, and not bring the Coalition's foregone conclusion that a Fibre To The Node network is a good idea.

"The head of Google Australia, Maile Carnegie, made a sound point this week when she urged the Government to think about the broader economic benefits of the NBN, rather than its currently extremely narrow view of the NBN as a cost that needs to be cut down. The NBN is an investment, one that will deliver great returns if it is kept in public hands and is responsive to the public."


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