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Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Page: 12032


Mr HUSIC (Chifley) (15:35): That was fanciful, Minister. On the one hand he complains that they do not have any details of the plan. Yet he can say with some confidence that it is going to take longer and cost more. He has no idea what he is talking about. He has absolutely no basis to make those claims, but he puts it forward because making up stuff is all they are used to doing about the NBN.

For example, today we had the Prime Minister claiming, when it came to the NBN, 'We wanted to think about a different way. We wanted to come up with a better plan. We wanted to come up with a different technological solution.' No. After the coalition had a track record of 19 failed plans and saw the way the public embraced the notion of finally getting a broadband network that would work for them, regardless of whether they were in the city or in the regions, the coalition realised that they had to cuddle up to the NBN. They had to seem like they were supporting the NBN. They finally recognised they could not destroy it in the way that Tony Abbott wanted to. They had to make out like they were the friend of the NBN. So what did they do? The Prime Minister did what he does best. He white-anted the NBN. He made all sorts of claims that he would be able to deliver the NBN better than anyone else, that he could deliver it faster, that he could deliver it cheaper, that he could deliver it more efficiently.

He is the fibre Svengali, the Rasputin of the rollout, because, when you look at every claim and the sweet promises he made before the election, where are they?

He said, for example, 'Twenty-five megabits per second by 2016.' Did he do that? No, he did not. And it only took him a short space of time to announce that he could not do it. He said he would deliver 25 megabits per second by 2016. Did he do it? No. He said he would do it cheaper. Did he do it? No. He said he would do it faster, he would deliver it to us quicker. Did he do it? No.

Mrs Griggs interjecting

Mr HUSIC: The member for Solomon complains. Member for Solomon, you are the beneficiary of Labor's NBN. You have more premises that have fibre to the premises, courtesy of Labor, than other Liberal electorates will get. There are more Liberal electorates that will fail to get the quality of service that your constituents got, courtesy of Labor, because of your defunct plan. So do not interject on us. You should go to your colleagues and explain to them why they are getting a lesser service than you are getting. So do not pipe up here and say that.

By the way, after that terrific track record—failed to deliver the speed, failed to deliver it cheaper, failed to deliver it on time—look at the quotes are coming in. I will read this one:

So what has Turnbull yet done that should give a conservative heart?

Sure, he’s promising competent economic management, but after the hash he’s made of the National Broadband Network—now even more expensive and more delayed—I need more than a wink and nod.

I wonder who said that? Andrew Bolt. Condemned even by your own over your management of the National Broadband Network. What a disgrace that they are holding up the Prime Minister's mismanagement of the NBN as a sign of things to come—and they are right. What is his answer? Now that the project is being delivered—more expensive, slower, failing to deliver the speeds—what is his answer? When other countries are confronted with the problem of how to modernise their broadband, what do they say? 'We'll use copper'—said no country ever! Singapore—fibre; South Korea—fibre; Japan—fibre; Hong Kong—fibre; New Zealand—fibre. What are we doing? Buying 1,800 kilometres of copper. I know you have discovered start-ups now, but I did not think you were resuscitating the Copperart franchise! I mean, 1,800 kilometres of copper is your answer to modernising the network? You are a joke. People know you are a joke. You are reverting back to form, stuffing up broadband like you did the last time you were in government, with 19 failed plans, making a mess. But the problem is: people in the community pay; the nation will pay. You say you are about innovation yet you have deformed the very platform infrastructure required for people to drive innovation in this country, but you are pretending to be the friend of broadband. It is a disgrace.