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Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Page: 6074


Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth) (14:39): My question is to the Prime Minister. Can she confirm that, after paying $120 million for spectrum in 2011, the NBN Co.'s fixed wireless rollout is stalled because its planned network interferes with the existing Optus wireless network using the same frequencies? Given the failure of pink batts, green loans, cash for clunkers and school hall programs, what confidence can Australians have that her government can deliver faster broadband when it cannot even get the basics right?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:40): I thank the member for Wentworth for his question. It is absolutely no wonder that the opposition has moved off questioning about schools. But to the member for Wentworth's question on broadband: let me assure him that what the Australian people know from this government is that we will ensure that fibre gets to the premises—that is, we will do it once and do it right for Australia's future. Not for us the member for Wentworth's 'fraudband' policy, which of course would cost a lot of money and deliver very slow access, relying as it does on the copper network, which is decades and decades and decades old.

Mr Turnbull: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order on relevance. The question was about the wireless rollout. The Prime Minister is talking about a fixed-line network.

The SPEAKER: The member for Wentworth will resume his seat.

Ms GILLARD: I would refer the member for Wentworth to the question he asked, which had a very all-embracing second sentence. Let me answer it given that he has asked it. The member for Wentworth has asked in the most general terms about whether or not people can rely on this government—

Ms Julie Bishop interjecting

Mr Dutton interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Deputy Leader of the Opposition! The member for Dickson! The Prime Minister has the call and has the right to be heard in silence.

Ms GILLARD: Thank you very much. The member for Wentworth has raised in the broadest possible terms the future of our nation in telecommunications and who can be relied on to deliver that future. I can answer the member for Wentworth very clearly: the Australian people can rely on this government to ensure that they get the telecommunications our nation needs for our nation's future. That is because we are pursuing a real plan to make sure that people get the ability to move information around in the modern age that the modern economy requires. We are doing that and we will continue to do that. I am amazed that the member for Wentworth, of all people, would come into this parliament with a question like this. His deep discomfort with the opposition's 'fraudband' plan was on display the very day he announced it—adding, of course, to his deep discomfort with the Leader of the Opposition's so-called direct action policy. Well, let me assure the member for Wentworth of this: this is a government focused on the future, the NBN, the clean—

Mr Hartsuyker interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Cowper! The Prime Minister will resume her seat. The member for Wentworth can raise a point of order on anything other than relevance.

Mr Turnbull: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: the Prime Minister is defying you and the standing orders—

The SPEAKER: The member for Wentworth will resume his seat. The question was full of rhetoric. The Prime Minister is being relevant to the question.

Ms GILLARD: As I was saying in answer to the very general question I was asked, Australians can rely on this government to invest in the future. Whether it is the National Broadband Network, wireless technologies, a clean energy future, the future of Australian schools, or roads, rail and ports, we are the government determined to build the nation, whilst you pursue your plans for wrecking.