The government says it has put $400 billion of federal funding to help the rollout of the National Communications System (NCS) under a $40 billion package announced last week.
But the Government has failed to provide a plan to fund it.
It has also been unclear how the Federal Government will pay for it.
One of the key problems is that the Government says it will pay a fixed $5 billion, which would mean a $20 billion difference from the $40bn announced in the budget.
The Opposition has accused the Government of deliberately delaying the rollout.
It is now looking to the Federal Parliament to provide clarity and a plan.
Senator Scott Ludlam said the problem was the Coalition has spent the past two years “delaying the NBN rollout and that is now costing taxpayers billions”.
He said he would push for a full public inquiry into the NBN if the Government did not provide a detailed plan to pay for the NBN.
“There is a serious lack of transparency and accountability within the NBN project,” he said.
“We’ve had to put in place the biggest infrastructure project in our history.”
The Government has been spending billions on a project that has cost the taxpayer billions of dollars and that has yet to deliver a fair and reasonable NBN.
“There is clearly a lot of work that needs to be done.”
But Senator Ludlam rejected the suggestion the Government had been using a “crony capitalism” approach to get around the NBN funding shortfall.
He said the NBN was an “extraordinarily complex” and complex project that had cost the Australian taxpayer billions.
“The NBN is a complex undertaking and the Government is not transparent about its costs,” he told ABC News.
“It is also a complex project and that will continue to be the case.”
Senator Ludam said the Opposition would use the Senate’s resources to look at how the NBN could be improved.
He said the Government was “entirely dependent” on the support of the Australian people to get the NBN going.
“We know that when Australians support their local NBN projects, they actually contribute more to the NBN,” he added.
Senator Ludlam has been working with the Opposition Leader for some time to push for changes to the way the NBN works and ensure the Government’s NBN plan can be implemented.
He has also called on the Government to provide more details about how it intends to fund the NBN and the funding gap.
The Opposition has also questioned the timing of the announcement.
Labor MP David Leyonhjelm said he was surprised the Government made the announcement before the election.
It was a bit like a corporate coup, he said, with the NBN announcement in the middle of the election campaign and then only six months later it’s announced in parliament.
But he said he believed the announcement would have been made by the previous Labor Government.
And Senator Ludman said it was a “disgrace” that the announcement was not more timely.
We should have waited for the next election and the next year to make sure the NBN got rolling,” he argued.
ABC/ReutersTopics:internet-technology,internet-culture,broadband,information-and-communication,broadcasting,government-and.govt-office,australiaFirst posted January 11, 2020 19:42:03Contact Andrew MearesMore stories from Western Australia