Malcolm Turnbull told to put mouth where money is
Malcolm Turnbull has been urged to put his “mouth where his money is” after it was revealed he owns shares in a French telecommunications company building a broadband network like the one he opposes in Australia.
MALCOLM TURNBULL has been urged to put his “mouth where his money is” after it was revealed he owns shares in a French telecommunications company building a broadband network like the one he opposes in Australia.
During Senate question time on Tuesday, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy revealed Mr Turnbull’s register of interest updated on 16 August includes an admission he has bought shares in FTE (France Telecom).
Mr Turnbull, the opposition’s communications spokesman, has been highly critical of the government’s $37.4 billion fibre to the home National Broadband Network as being too expensive.
He has indicated in media reports that he favours following the UK and New Zealand’s fibre to the node rollout as a cheaper option.
Senator Conroy said Mr Turnbull has conveniently avoided talking about France.
“You might ask why didn’t he mention France – France is building a fibre to the home network to 15 million French homes by 2020,” he told the chamber.
“Does Mr Turnbull know about France?”
He quoted from Mr Turnbull’s register of interests.
“Did he invest in British Telecom? No. Has he invested in New Zealand’s Telecom Chorus? No.”
“Did he invest in France Telecom and its fibre to the home network? Yes, yes yes.”
Senator Conroy said Mr Turnbull was a savvy entrepreneur and knew a good investment when he saw one.
“He should put his mouth where his money is,” Senator Conroy yelled.
Senator Conroy likened investment in broadband networks to that of high speed rail.
“When a high speed rail network opens in London to Birmingham in 2026 it will be 45 years after the French opened theirs, and 62 years after the Japanese opened theirs,” he told the chamber.
He said the UK was using fibre to the node as a temporary stepping stone to fibre to the home.