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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 14775


Mr HOWARTH (Petrie) (09:51): In 2013 I promised the people of Petrie that they would see the NBN rolled out more quickly and more cost-effectively under a coalition government, and with me as the member for Petrie, than they would under Labor. Last month I was thrilled to announce that locals will see construction continue on the NBN in suburbs like North Lakes, Mango Hill and on the Redcliffe peninsula from as early as 2016. Of course, in the new estates in these suburbs the NBN has already been fired up and is part of the fabric of people's lives in Petrie.

I ran for parliament because, as an Australian, I could not stand by and see our country fall into ruin with Labor's debt and deficit disaster. That is why the coalition have been running a very effective cost-benefit analysis against the money we spend. I want to thank the Prime Minister for coming up to Petrie—out to Mango Hill, out to North Lakes, down into Bracken Ridge—and looking at some of the issues. I also want to thank everyone involved in his former portfolio, the communications department; all the staff there made sure that Petrie has been prioritised.

In the five years of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government, only 10,400 users were connected throughout Australia and the cost was $7½ billion to taxpayers. That is more than $720,000 spent per household if you roll it out that way. Meanwhile, businesses in my electorate were suffering—I have high-growth areas in North Lakes in particular—and they were losing productivity because of poor internet connection. I made this a priority as the locals in Mango Hill and Deception Bay were calling me, saying that at times they could not even watch a YouTube video without the video buffering every few seconds. These experiences, of course, will soon be a memory and I would like to thank everyone in my electorate who has signed my petitions and helped campaign for this locally.

If you live in the older estates in North Lakes, Mango Hill and Griffin, you will start seeing the NBN construction by June next year. For those in the Brisbane City Council area, many homes in Aspley, Carseldine and parts of Fitzgibbon already have access to this technology, and construction will start in the second half of 2017 for Bridgeman Downs, Fitzgibbon, Bald Hills and Bracken Ridge. It is great news for people on the Redcliffe peninsula. The HFC networks are some of the most competitive in offering superfast broadband, and the first trial site in the country is in Petrie. Labor paid billions of dollars to decommission this old Optus cable TV network and was going to junk it. We are using it to get it to people's homes a lot quicker. Under our plan the NBN will be rolled out to the whole of my electorate two years quicker than the rest of the country and 10 years sooner than what would have happened if Labor was still in power.