Paul Fletcher MP

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When MP Paul Fletcher said costs had blown out on building works at a school in his electorate, he was called an "idiot" by Julia Gillard.

WHEN Liberal MP Paul Fletcher told parliament in March that costs had blown out on stimulus building works at a school in his electorate, he was called an "idiot" by Julia Gillard, who told him to get his facts right.

The then education minister responded to him in parliament in March by telling him to get his facts right.

But Mr Fletcher, the Liberal member for Bradfield in Sydney's north, wasn't feeling an idiot yesterday when the first report into the Building the Education Revolution scheme revealed that same public school failed the value-for-money assessment.

THERE are many troubling features of the NBN legislation that has been passed by the commonwealth parliament.

The cost is staggering. We learned last week that the Gillard government's NBN Co will spend $49 billion on the network between now and 2020, up from the $43bn first quoted when the plan was announced in April last year.

Friday, 19 November 2010 11:32

The Drum: A good test for the new paradigm

We have heard a lot about the supposed 'new paradigm' in this Federal Parliament.

Announcing Labor's deal with the independents on September 7 this year, Julia Gillard promised far-reaching reforms to make the Government and its functioning more accountable to the Australian people: "So, let's draw back the curtains and let the sun shine in; let our parliament be more open than it ever was before."

THE Rudd-Gillard Labor government just does not "get" competition.

In policy areas as diverse as banking, telecoms and Julia Gillard's $16 billion school hall stimulus program, Labor's policies are failing badly -- and a core reason is Labor's indifference to competitive private sector markets.

In recent days we have seen record bank profits -- and banks increasing their home loan rates ahead of the Reserve Bank's cash rate.

SHOULD the National Broadband Network be required to generate a positive financial return?

The Rudd-Gillard government's decision to spend $43 billion to build the NBN has been the subject of intense controversy.

The Coalition has repeatedly criticised the fact that there has been no cost-benefit study, and there was no business plan prepared before the decision was made.

We have also criticised the assumptions in the implementation study subsequently prepared by McKinsey and KPMG. These firms found that the venture would generate a modest return of 6-7 per cent.

Private sector telecommunications companies think very, very carefully before they build a new network.

In eight years on the senior leadership team at Optus, I saw how much work goes into preparing the business case for a new network.

It is critical to work out how many customers you are going to get - and how much they are going to pay.

Thursday, 08 April 2010 00:00

Twisted Wire: Paul Fletcher versus the NBN

Paul speaks on radio with Phil Dobbie on April 8th, 2010.

Please use the player controls below to listen to the full interview.

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

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