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Thursday, 16 February 2012
Page: 1693


Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (09:39): I would like to talk about the rollout of the National Broadband Network to the Illawarra, in particular to Dapto in my electorate of Throsby. It is about to be boosted with a further 8,100 premises and a new rollout to 8,300 premises in the suburb of Corrimal in the neighbouring electorate of Cunningham. It is a fantastic announcement and it turbocharges the determination of the member for Cunningham and me to ensure that the National Broadband Network is available as quickly as possible to every suburb in our electorates. It is fantastic news for Dapto because we are going to be doubling the number of houses and businesses that are going to benefit from high-speed, reliable and affordable broadband through the NBN. That means that the number of houses in Dapto in my electorate is going to double and that they will be very soon enjoying the benefits of the National Broadband Network. I can tell you that they are very excited about this.

It is also great news that, in addition to the 5,600 premises that are to be connected to the National Broadband Network in Wollongong, a further 2,800 homes and businesses will also be a part of this initial connection. Now there will also be a further 8,300 businesses and homes in Corrimal included in the early rollout site. This announcement brings nearly 27,300 homes and businesses in both Throsby and Cunningham electorates into the early rollout of the National Broadband Network in the Illawarra. It is fantastic for the communities in our local area to be connected to this transformational technology that will change the way we do business, learn, teach, deal with doctors and develop new skills.

In stark contrast to the coalition parties here in Canberra, the Liberal Party in the Illawarra are absolutely championing the rollout of the National Broadband Network. There is a Liberal Party mayor in Shellharbour who has dedicated her future term to extending the National Broadband Network to the local government area of Shellharbour, which overlaps my electorate of Throsby. All I can say to the members here, including the member for Gilmore and all members opposite, is that they should pick up the phone and talk to the Liberal Party mayor of Shellharbour about her enthusiasm for the National Broadband Network. She is actually in touch with the people on the ground and knows that this is going to be a transformational technology for the area. I very much welcome it. It is incredible that, while the member for Cunningham and I are announcing the major extension to the NBN early rollout, the member for Gilmore continues to oppose the NBN and would rip it up if given the chance.