The Federal Government’s review of the NBN’s governance and management was launched on Thursday, with the Opposition calling for the Government to be “immediately dissolved”.
Key points: The review was set up by the Federal Government and has been chaired by Justice Stephen Parry, a former Federal Court judge.
Its release was delayed after a petition was lodged to the High Court The review is now the subject of an urgent parliamentary question The review, which will report to the Government on April 15, is expected to recommend changes to the NBN Co’s governance structure.
“The Federal Government has been clear in its submission that its objective is to ensure that the NBN is managed as a ‘single provider’ in line with its public policy objectives,” Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said in a statement.
“This review, as the Government has promised, is just that.
It’s the latest in a series of Government announcements that have failed to deliver on this objective.”
The Federal Opposition’s bill to dissolve the NBN was submitted in the Senate on Thursday and is expected later in the week.
Senator Parry said the Federal Opposition had submitted its Bill to dissolve NBN Co, but it was not immediately clear whether the Government would follow through.
“It’s our intention to introduce the bill into the Senate today, but we have no date at this stage,” he said.
The bill would “impose an immediate dissolution of NBN Co and require NBN Co to be dissolved as part of the process”, he said, while also “asking the Federal Court to intervene to remove the Federal Director of the National Broadband Network and the Federal Chief Executive Officer of NBN.”
The bill was tabled in the upper house of Parliament in late January.
It was then delayed after an urgent petition was filed to the Federal Circuit Court, asking the court to “impeach” the Federal Cabinet.
The Federal Court later rejected the Government’s petition, but the Federal Parliamentary Joint Committee on Telecommunications argued that the government “must dissolve the National Telecommunications and Information Commission” because of “the seriousness of the matter”.
“The NBN Co is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NBNCo and is wholly owned by NBN Co,” the committee said in its statement.
It also noted that the National Electricity Market Operator (NEAO) is not a subsidiary of the Government and the Government does not have a “subordinate” to the NEAO.
The committee’s decision was made public on Friday, and the bill was returned to the Parliament later in February.
The Government is expected in Parliament on April 10 to introduce its Bill on the NBN.
The NBN Co has struggled with cost overruns in recent years, and was forced to pay back $1.2 billion of debt to investors after it fell behind schedule in the rollout of the network.
NBN Co chief executive Ziggy Switkowski has said that he is committed to getting the NBN to 50 per cent of the population by 2025, which is an ambitious target.
The company has also faced criticism for the rollout delays.
However, the NBN has been praised for the performance of the rollout and has made a number of key improvements to its service.
The National Broadhead Network (NBN) is an Australian network designed to connect all Australians to a common internet connection.
The system, which was rolled out to nearly half of the nation’s premises in December last year, has been criticised for its high costs, high latency and slow speeds.