Broadband approach a shambles – Coalition Senators

  Coalition Senators have attacked as ‘chaotic, shambolic and frantic’ the Rudd Labor Government’s approach to development of a National Broadband Network (NBN), Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   Coalition Senators today lodged additional comments to the Senate Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee’s report into the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (National Broadband Network) Bill 2008.…

Details

Solar industry to outline means test pain

  A Senate inquiry will today hear evidence in Canberra from solar panel installers about the dramatic impact on the industry of the Rudd Government’s decision to means test the solar panel rebate scheme.   The Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts today begins its inquiry into the Save Our Solar (Solar…

Details

Stamps price rise just a back door tax hike

  The Rudd Labor Government is bleeding an extra $150 million from taxpayers through a rise in the cost of postage, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   A one-off “special dividend” of $150 million is being paid by Australia Post in 2008-09, which according to the Budget Papers “reflects the strong financial position of Australia…

Details

Union to give evidence against solar means test

  Union officials opposed to the Rudd Government’s means test on solar rebates will be among those giving evidence today to a Senate committee inquiry into its impact, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   The hearings in Melbourne today follow those in Canberra on Friday, at which Environment Department officials responsible for the rebate program’s…

Details

Labor still pursuing flawed ABC Board selection panel process

  Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is ignoring criticism of a UK model to be applied in relation to the selection of Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Board members, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   In a scheme similar to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) board appointment process, a so-called “independent panel” is planned to provide Senator…

Details

ACT Government urges solar means test removal

  The ACT Labor Government has joined calls for the Rudd Government to abolish its means test on rebates for solar panels, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   ACT Chief Minister John Stanhope has urged the means test’s removal in a strongly worded submission to a Senate committee inquiry into its impact:   “No consultation…

Details

Funds allocated, but the return unknown

  The Rudd Labor Government has revealed it can’t yet say how much water is likely to be returned to environmental flows as a result of almost $4 billion in infrastructure funding already allocated in principle, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   Under questioning in Senate Supplementary Budget Estimates, Water Minister Penny Wong today revealed…

Details

Minister’s sudden reluctance to advertise his views

  Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has gone to great pains to avoid saying whether he believes “in program” advertising on SBS is in accordance with its obligations under its Act, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.   “Senator Conroy has become remarkably coy on this matter as Minister, given his past comments as Shadow Minister when…

Details