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Tuesday, 28 May 2013
Page: 4098


Mr RUDD (Griffith) (21:33): I was entertained then by the member for Bonner's presentation on broadband in his electorate for the simple reason that between 1996 and 2007 the previous Howard government had 16 separate plans on broadband and did not one jot of work in all of metropolitan Brisbane. Secondly, he talked about a 10 per cent rollout in his electorate—that is 10 per cent more than would be delivered under the coalition's so-called broadband plan. I think the member for Bonner had better look long and hard at the precise implications of the policy enunciated by the very articulate member for Wentworth.

For my own electorate on Brisbane's southside broadband is indeed important. Everywhere I go to mobile offices in the electorate this is the one thing which comes up constantly. People running small businesses from home are demanding more speed, more reliable speed, because that is the part of the future. It will also improve telecommuting, telemedicine and digital education, as well as our ability to run businesses from home. It is universal across our community. In a recent community survey, 89 per cent of respondents felt that their household would benefit from faster, more reliable broadband. And 87 per cent of respondents felt that their fibre connection should be provided direct to all households.

I have not seen any similar surveys from the Liberal and National parties on their broadband policy. Perhaps a survey which the member for Bonner and Mr Abbott's hand-picked candidate in the electorate of Griffith could roll out these questions: (1) Do you support the Liberal and National parties' policy of slower internet connections? (2) Do you support the Liberal and National parties' policy of making you pay up to $5,000 to have fibre connected to your home? (3) Do you support the Liberal and National parties' policy of spending three quarters of the money of the government's National Broadband Network program for one quarter of the speed? (4) As people say in my own district, why on earth would the Liberal and National parties' policy allow people on Brisbane's southside to be last in line for any form of internet upgrade? If you ask the Leader of the Opposition, the alternative prime minister of the country, my good friend the member for Bonner and Mr Abbott's hand-picked candidate in the federal electorate of Griffith, Dr Glasson—their answers to these four questions on the Liberal and National parties' survey would be: 'Yes, yes, yes and yes. We want slower internet connections. We want everyone to pay $5,000 to have it connected to their home.'

If you happen to live in suburbs like Coorparoo, full of high-rise developments, there is this bizarre policy of wanting 75 per cent of all the occupants of the high-rise to reach an agreement through the body corporate before the connection occurs. When I explain that to the good burghers of Coorparoo and those elsewhere in my electorate, they think your policy is stark, raving mad.

The opposition's policy has been described as 'the opposition's NBN', the 'Liberal and National parties' broadband'. It is not broadband; it is 'fraudband'—#fraudband. It is not just a Twitter hashtag; 'fraudband' is a clinical description of the opposition's policy. The National Broadband Network Company, NBN Co., has recently updated its three-year plan for the period 2013-16, which will involve fibre construction starting progressively to 30 June 2016 to all homes, businesses, schools and hospitals in the federal division of Griffith.

I am very happy to advise the House that, by June 2016, NBN Co. will have commenced or completed construction or connection of 77,300 homes and businesses on the southside to the National Broadband Network. Nationally, there will be some six million premises connected. I am here with my good friend the member for Bass. There is a rollout occurring in his electorate as well. It is actually revolutionising the way in which people do business. It is also important for the schools in my electorate. Some 7,365 computers have been provided to southside schools, thanks to the Australian government's program of putting computers into high schools. All these will now be connected to the National Broadband Network, but under 'fraudband' there will be no possibility of connection whatsoever. Consider what will happen with our local hospitals—for example, the Mater Hospital and the PA Hospital? What is their ability through the local Medicare Locals, as well as local GPs, to put electronic health records across the country, across the state if people get sick? If you are not connected to high-speed broadband you cannot actually do that.

For those opposite, whether it be the member for Ryan, the absent member for Brisbane or the member for Bonner, to stand up in this parliament on behalf of any resident of the city of Brisbane and say, convincingly, that 'fraudband' represents a viable outcome for their constituents is fraudulent in itself. We stand for a high-speed broadband, a broadband with sufficient bandwidth to make a real difference to people's future. (Time expired)