Getting NBN back on track!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Letter submitted to the NewsMail on October 30, 2014:

I am writing in response to Sam Williamson’s letter (NM 30/10).

Under Labor, the National Broadband Network was the most wasteful and mismanaged project in Australia’s history. No cost benefit analysis was undertaken and so, shortly after being elected to Government, the Coalition asked NBNCo to undertake an independent strategic review of the project. The review found the roll out was two years behind schedule, with final completion due 11 years later than was promised by Kevin Rudd.

With the rapid and ongoing evolution of technology globally, the NBN would have been superseded and outdated by the time Labor had connected fibre to every home. Mr Williamson’s assertion that fibre installation would have been free under Labor is fanciful and deeply offensive to the hardworking taxpayers who fund Australia’s infrastructure.

The review revealed the cost of completing the NBN had blown out to $73 Billion – that’s $29 Billion more than taxpayers were told. It also found that if Labor’s policies were left in place households would pay $139 per month for broadband, compared to about $72 under the Coalition’s plan.

When you consider 75 per cent of the world’s 1.6 billion internet devices are portable, it’s easy to see why using a mix of technology is ideal.

Development applications have been lodged with Bundaberg and Fraser Coast Regional Councils to provide NBN wireless internet to rural and remote communities across the Hinkler electorate.

I fought hard to ensure Bundaberg was one of ten sites prioritised nationally for fibre to the node, which is expected to result in about 25,000 Hinkler premises being able to connect next year.

I acknowledge there is some disappointment that not every suburb or household will get NBN in this first phase. However, the fact that Bundaberg is a point of interconnect for the NBN bodes well for further expansion across the Hinkler electorate.

Our plan will save taxpayers $32 Billion, keep monthly bills lower and deliver the NBN four years sooner!

Keith Pitt MP

Federal Member for Hinkler