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Growing concerns over future privatisation of NBN: Greens

As the Senate Select Committee undertakes hearings into the National Broadband Network in Sydney, the Australian Greens have expressed strong concerns about proposals to privatise the network in a decade's time.

"At the very least, the Government should undertake a public interest test and require a vote in Parliament before privatisation lands us back in the same mess we're in today," said Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam.

"The Implementation study has proposed that a form of public interest test be undertaken before any decision is made to privatise the NBN. This morning the Select Committee heard evidence in support of this recommendation from industry and user groups.

"The Government should pause and reconsider its thinking around privatisation, and learn not just from the mistakes of the past but also the direction in which the evidence is pointing right now.

"The McKinsey KPMG report stated that regulators struggle to be effective in this area because they are at a disadvantage in terms of information and expertise, which would be heightened if the NBN is placed in private hands and is run for commercial gain.

"We don't want to see any Australian left behind and cannot see the point of building a company from scratch at enormous public expense to then sell it down automatically," Senator Ludlam said.

Media Contact: Fernando de Freitas 0417 174 302

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