Senate's NBN committee wins second reprieve

A motion to scrap the Senate's NBN committee has been deferred for a second time

A motion by Liberal Party Senator Cory Bernardi to replace the Senate's National Broadband Network committee and with a government-dominated committee has been deferred for a second time.

This means at the earliest, the existing committee is likely to survive until August.

Bernardi had been due to put the motion to the Senate yesterday but told the upper house he wished to defer the motion for a day. Today the motion was deferred again until the next sitting day.

The decision to defer the motions abolishing of the current committee and establishing a new committee raises the question of whether the government is involved in ongoing negotiations with independent or minor party senators, whose support would be necessary to pass the motions.

The Senate committee in March released an interim report slamming the Coalition's new strategy for an NBN rollout.

The committee was established in November last year and in May its reporting date was extended until the "the last sitting day of the 44th Parliament", ensuring that it would continue scrutiny of the NBN until the next federal election.

The current committee is chaired by Labor Senator Kate Lundy, and comprises three Labor senators, three Liberal senators and a Greens senator, giving supporters of the fibre-to-the-premises approach of the former government a majority. Bernardi is the deputy chair of the committee.

Bernardi's proposed joint committee would be chaired by a government MP and comprise three Coalition members of the lower house, two MPs nominated by the opposition, two government senators, two opposition senators, and one crossbench senator.

Follow Rohan on Twitter: @rohan_p

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Tags national broadband networkNational Broadband Network (NBN)broadband

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