Liberal Senator Nick Minchin has hit back at jibes by communications minister Stephen Conroy over the delay of the Telstra separation bill.
Speaking to journalists after opening NICTA's new facilities in Sydney, Conroy said the delay showed "how irrelevant the opposition and Nick Minchin have been to the Australian public".
"To have opposed this bill and have it lost behind Nick Minchin's personal agenda to bring Malcolm Turnbull down is very disappointing," Conroy said.
In response, Minchin told Computerworld the claims are “laughable” and that Conroy has proved to be incapable of his own legislative program.
“Senator Conroy promised the bill would be dealt with before the end of this year,” he said.
“He then went on a week long junket to Egypt during a crucial Senate sitting week and subsequent to that, the telco bill did not appear, despite his bluster about how urgent it was.”
Minchin resigned from his role as shadow communications minister last week.
The move followed a request from Minchin and former shadow health and ageing minister, now Liberal leader, Tony Abbott, that ousted leader Malcolm Turnbull reconsider the Coalition’s policy position on the Federal Government’s emissions trading scheme (ETS).
Minchin confirmed to Computerworld he will continue in the role until Abbott announces his new front bench.