NBN bills proceed to final vote

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NBN bills proceed to final vote

The Federal Opposition has been defeated during an attempt to stop the lower house considering amended NBN Companies and Access bills Monday. 

Debate on the bills – which passed the Senate late Friday evening – had been placed in limbo after the Opposition spent over four hours arguing whether a debate should take place.

The Coalition lost its attempt to prevent the debate on the amended bills by three votes. It came after an earlier attempt to suspend the House of Representatives was defeated by a single vote.

Leader of the House of Representatives Anthony Albanese accused the Opposition of "filibustering" because they didn't "have their amendments [to the bills] ready this morning".

"The debate today is extraordinary," Albanese said.

"They [the Opposition] can't get to the substance of the amendments they want to move.

"They're having a debate about whether to have a debate."

Albanese also suggested that the Coalition's plan to bring further amendments in the lower house today were another delaying tactic "so the Senate will have to be recalled and then we'll have to be recalled [also]."

"They're determined to delay at any point," Albanese said.

"Now we've been sitting for more than four hours without dealing with any substantial issues before parliament today. It says it all about the Opposition and their failure to deal with anything of substance."

Debate on the NBN Companies and Access bills was finally allowed to proceed at 2.30pm.

Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull said the Coalition would table at least three proposed amendments: two regarding "the wholesale basis on which the NBN is to proceed" and a third on the application of freedom of information (FoI) rules to NBN Co.

The Coalition indicated earlier today it would seek an amendment to ensure uniform prices across fibre, wireless and satellite technologies now and into the future.

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