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Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Page: 4240


Mr MITCHELL (McEwenSecond Deputy Speaker) (16:59): What an interesting debate this is. We have it quite regularly because of the failure of this government. First, we had the failure under Malcolm Turnbull and now we have the failure under the member for Bradfield. I heard the member for Bradfield talking earlier about satellites. I distinctly remember at the time of the national broadband network rollout hearing from the member for Bradfield, the man they have made into the communications man—this is the man that knows all; he is ex-Optus. Of course, we know how much Optus celebrated when he got rolled. He sat there and asked about the satellite launches, 'Are they a standard platform?', to which NBN said, 'No, they're not. They're not a standard platform.' He responded: 'Are they are standard platform?' They said, 'No, they're not.' Then the member for Bradfield's asked, 'Are they customised?' If they are not a standard platform of course they are customised. They are customised to suit the needs of Australians and what we need in a broad country to get services out everywhere. On satellite technology, we know that those guys did not want it. The government did not want to put two new satellites in place. In fact, they argued passionately against it. Luckily, there was a bloke named Quigley running the NBN. He put them in their place and showed them that they were actually needed.

We talk constantly about the issues with broadband, because the MTM, as it is called—the Malcolm Turnbull mess—has done nothing but fail everyone. I go to areas in my electorate, such as Sunbury, where there has been not one new connection in 2½ years. It was supposed to have been finished in 2015. Now because of the failure of this bloke, the member for Bradfield, who has taken over from the last failure, it has rolled over to be 'work starting in 2017'. People are losing jobs and having to move because of the failure of the member for Bradfield and his predecessor the member for Wentworth.

We heard the member for Bradfield get up earlier and say, 'Oh, we've had 100 per cent success!' That is right; there has been 100 per cent success. Every single fibre-to-the-node thing they have put in place is not working. As the member for Chifley pointed out, you are rolling out apologies more than you can roll out connections. You have absolutely failed.

Let us look at community forums. We had the member for Bradfield come down with his secret little forum. It was invitation only. It was held on the Thursday before Easter: 'We can't let anyone know, just the Liberal Party.' Of course, we found out about it and we turned out. The good thing was that every single person who left that forum, after two hours of listening to him, said that they would not vote Liberal, because they had to put up with him and a Liberal candidate for two hours and learnt that the government has not got a clue what it is doing with broadband. Compare that with what we were doing. We had the member for Blaxland come down and attend a packed out forum in Sunbury. Mind you, the member for Bradfield has not responded to any letters from people in Sunbury, nor has he responded to any invitations to come down to Sunbury. He is too scared. He knows he is going to have to sit in a room with people who are talking about how they have to shut their businesses and move because of this bloke's failure to deliver broadband to our community. We have people who are electronic design engineers using large files who have to spend more money—you know, they love to talk about how great they are in business. The extra cost that those opposite are putting on companies in suburban and regional areas means that these companies are putting off local workers and have to have extra expenses as they go to other areas to run their business. That is because of the failure of this government to deliver broadband.

We have had no new rollout in three years in the fastest growing part of Victoria. In fact, it is one of the fastest-growing parts of Australia. We have had not one new connection. People are sitting there each and every day saying, 'When am I getting the rollout? When is it actually going to come?' They do not know, because this lot over there would not have a clue. They would not know whether they are Arthur or Martha.

We heard earlier some chipping in by the member for Irons, and I am glad he pointed out to remind me—

Mr Irons: Swan!

Mr MITCHELL: The member for Swan—talking about the pink batts and the failure there, saying that it was four deaths and trying to blame that directly on the government. I hope that he is going to stand up and call for a royal commission. We have had two deaths already this year in the NBN rollout. We look forward to seeing the member for Bradfield and the failure that we call the Prime Minister sitting there and explaining why your policies, why your rollout, is causing these deaths. It has become a national disgrace that people in Australia in the 21st century have had to watch their ranking go from 30th to 60th in terms of broadband because this lot could not manage a chook raffle in a pub. It is unfair that people have to give up their homes, give up their businesses and move to other areas—

Mr Laundy: I 100 per cent could organise one!

Mr MITCHELL: You might have run a chook raffle, yes!—to give up their businesses, to give up their homes and move to other areas because they cannot get access to what is considered one of the most basic needs of the 21st century, which is proper, fast broadband.