Paul Fletcher MP

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What is the point of Julia Gillard's carbon tax?

(To read this article at The Drum Opinion online click here)

THE recent announcement by Broadband and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy of an independent inquiry into Australia's print media raises many questions.

LAST week's announcement of the deal between Telstra and the NBN Co is another reminder of how comprehensively the National Broadband Network has perverted telecommunications policy in Australia.

The predominantly fibre-based NBN is a costly exercise that will not necessarily lead to higher take up across the board, according to Liberal member for Bradfield Paul Fletcher.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011 00:00

ZDNet: OECD jump not NBN-reliant: Fletcher

The National Digital Economy Strategy goal of moving Australia up the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) rankings for broadband penetration does not have to be met by the roll-out of the National Broadband Network (NBN), according to Liberal MP Paul Fletcher.

Read the article at 

Tuesday, 07 June 2011 09:39

AFR: Transparency lacking on NBN cost

The theory behind the government's spending on the NBN doesn't match reality, writes Paul Fletcher.

NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley recently gave a speech complaining about the degree of scrutiny to which his company is subject, such as Senate Estimates and the newly formed Joint Select Committee on the NBN.

But if he were leading a company seeking to raise $27 billion in equity funding from private sector investors, the scrutiny Quigley would face would make the existing processes look tame in comparison.

Indeed, Quigley's complaint suggests a useful thought-experiment. If an information memorandum for the NBN had landed on the desk of a private investor, and that investor were sufficiently interested to commence a due diligence process, what are the kinds of questions that Quigley would now be facing?

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There is a lot of talk about Australia establishing a sovereign wealth fund.

Other resource-rich countries have established them. One of the best known is Norway, but according to the International Monetary Fund, over 20 countries have such funds; and over half of the total assets in these funds are held by countries which are significant oil and gas exporters.

Several business leaders – including the Commonwealth Bank’s Ralph Norris, the ANZ Bank’s Mike Smith and Tabcorp’s Elmer Funke Kupper – have called for Australia to establish a sovereign wealth fund. The reason most commonly cited: we should put away some of the proceeds of the resources boom for a rainy day.

Strong demand for Australia’s natural resources – such as iron ore, coal and natural gas – mean that Australian companies are currently exporting larger quantities, at much higher prices, than in the past. 

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Tuesday, 29 March 2011 08:54

AFR: Changes to cost homes, small businesses

Households and small businesses will be blocked from getting the broadband competition offered to big corporate customers under changes to the legislation covering the national broadband network.

The change was one of several finalised by federal Parliament yesterday to cement the powers of the company building the network, NBN Co, to help it to overcome threats from rivals.

Those OECD broadband rankings have a lot to answer for.

As you contemplate your tax dollars being vaporised in the great NBN punt, you might well wish the OECD had never starting tracking and publishing statistics on broadband penetration.

In Australia, as in many other countries, these statistics are closely watched.

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Authorised by Paul Fletcher MP, Level 2, 280 Pacific Highway Lindfield NSW 2070.

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