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Thursday, 18 November 2010
Page: 1644

Senator CAMERON (3:09 PM) —There is one thing I want to agree with Senator Brandis on from his contribution: whenever Senator Joyce is on Sky News it is a comedy show. It is a comedy show every time he is on. That is why Senator Joyce, who is being lauded here by Senator Brandis, was sacked from an economics shadow portfolio. The guy that you tell us is so great was sacked by your leader from an economics portfolio. The comedy is there every time Senator Joyce makes any comment anywhere in the media.

Senator Conroy is the senator and the minister who has actually delivered progress on a national broadband network. We had over a decade of the incapacity of the coalition and its failure to deliver anything on this issue of fundamental importance to the future of Australia. The difference between Labor and the coalition is clear: when it comes to the National Broadband Network we know what is required for the future of this country. We know what is required to build the nation. We know what is required to drive productivity in this country. We know what is required for health, e-health, the future of universities, education, sustainability and aged care, underpinned by the National Broadband Network, which you could never deliver. You had no competence to deliver it and no idea how to go about it. Who delivered it? The Labor Party and Minister Conroy. We are delivering for the nation and for regional Australia. We are delivering the equality of opportunity and access that the coalition would deny regional Australia.

What do we see on the other side? We have all the geniuses and experts who for over 11 years in government could deliver nothing. You are nothing more than carping critics. You are looking for short-term political tactics at the expense of the national good. You are prepared to put your perceived political advantage before this nation. You are prepared to deny Australian business, schools, hospitals and universities access to the best technology. In my view, you are just modern-day Luddites. You are the Luddites of politics; you are Luddites in terms of where we are going in this country. Some of you even have a personal philosophy against modern technology. You want to retain the copper network and not go with modern technology. You are modern Luddites—what a joke you lot are. We are dealing with what Rupert Murdoch identified as the biggest problem.

Senator Ian Macdonald —Who?

Senator CAMERON —You don’t know who he is? Rupert Murdoch is the boss of News Corporation; you quote him all the time. This is what Rupert Murdoch said in 2006—and remember he is talking about you lot:

When you have broadband—real broadband—where you get, say, 20Mbps of data into your home, it changes everything.

In Australia, we only have a couple of million people on broadband and they don’t even get 1Mb. I think it’s a disgrace.

That is what Murdoch said about the coalition—you were a disgrace. Your absolute hypocrisy on this issue is a disgrace. (Time expired)