NBN key to Greens' Labor support

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NBN key to Greens' Labor support

The Australian Greens have rehashed hopes of a publicly owned National Broadband Network (NBN) in a statement of support for the incumbent Labor Party (ALP).

On Monday, the parties were understood to have struck a preference deal involving more than 50 seats in the House of Representatives.

The Greens were expected to direct its Lower House preferences to Labor, which would direct its Senate preferences to the Greens in return.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam today said the party would "continue to work constructively with the Government if the ALP is returned".

"The Opposition's wrecking tactics in the telco sector have gone far enough," he said. "With the in-principle agreement signed between Telstra and the Commonwealth, Tony Abbott no longer has a constituency for blocking, delaying and avoiding reforms."

However, Ludlam remained opposed to Labor's long-term goal of privatising NBN Co.

He expected the ALP to be more receptive to the idea of a publicly owned NBN under Julia Gillard's leadership, telling CRN's sisters site iTnews last month: "Privatisation of NBNCo, in my understanding, was a particular preference of the Prime Minister [Kevin Rudd]."

"The NBN should absolutely stay in public hands so that we don't see another repeat of the debacle that followed the privatisation of Telstra," Ludlam said today.

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