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Thursday, 15 May 2008 07:41

Former NSW treasurer Michael Egan to chair G9

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Former NSW Treasurer, Michael Egan has been appointed as chairman of the Optus led G9 carrier consortium planning to bid for the Australian Government funded National Broadband Network.

He will take up his appointment immediately and will make his first public appearance on 20 May with a lunch time address to the CeBIT IT show in Sydney.

Announcing his appointment, Ravi Bhatia, CEO of G9 member Primus Telecom, said: "Mr Egan was the unanimous choice of the G9 CEOs. He is a distinguished Australian with an excellent record of service to the nation. He brings energy, enthusiasm and tremendous experience in the principles, working and importance of strong competition for the protection of the interests of consumers and businesses in Australia."

According to Michael Simmons, managing director of G9's NBN Project, Egan was "an outstanding Treasurer for NSW and is fully aware of the need for structural separation and continued regulation where monopolistic infrastructure exists."

Egan currently holds a number of senior roles, including chancellor of Macquarie University, chairman of the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology and chairman of the Australia Day Council of New South Wales. He was treasurer of New South Wales from 1995 to 2005, making him the state's longest serving treasurer since the introduction of responsible government in 1856. He was also NSW minister for state development and NSW minister for energy.

Egan said it was vitally important that the national broadband network "enhances, rather than diminishes, competition in the provision of communication services...Australia can't afford to have a national broadband network that leads to an effective monopoly and sky-high broadband prices."

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