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Sky News on The Hour -

View in ParlView



4 AUGUST 2011

Subjects: NBN; Carbon pricing; High-speed rail; Aged-care

PM: Thank you. Thank you very much. I'm joined by the Minister Steve Conroy, and also by Harrison
from NBN Co. You've just had the opportunity as we have to participate in the launch of NBN in
Brunswick. It's been an exciting event. In the course of that event there's been a lot of
discussion about the possibilities the NBN is going to bring to this place, Brunswick, and around
the nation.

I'm very pleased to have been here for the first launch in a capital city.

We've seen launches in regional Australia and in Tasmania, but today, the NBN comes to a big city
in Australia. It's part of what will be rolled out around the nation. We're very happy to take
questions on the NBN, and then a little bit later we'll move to other questions if people have

But can we take questions related to the National Broadband Network first.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister are you disappointed that only 14 people have signed up? I know you've
talked about it's good to go slow at the start. But I would have thought Brunswick would be an
ideal demographic - (inaudible) people and businesses here. It seems still a very small number.

PM: Well look, I'll have Minister Conroy comment as well. But as Harrison said during the course of
the launch, these are deliberately structured as trials. We're rolling out the NBN around the
nation. We know that the technology works. The roll out is being done in different places so that
we can learn the lessons of how to do the roll out in quite different terrain. Obviously, suburban
Brunswick, with many of its historic features and laneways, is quite different terrain to Armidale,
which was quite different terrain again to Tasmania or to Kiama.

So we're learning different lessons in different parts of the country. Then we want to learn any
lessons from engaging with customers. And that's why we expect to see a very limited number of
customers at this stage.

But I'll turn to Minister Conroy for some comments, too.

MINISTER CONROY: Let's look at - we've limited the number of customers for a trial. It's not open
slather. It comes open slather in October. And we were hoping to, by October, have about 200 people
in each of the sites around the country. So it's not a question of, oh my goodness, only 40 people.

We didn't want to any more in the first few days.

We're building this up slowly. But let me be clear about this. The Telstra deal with NBN Co and the
government means that every, virtually every single fixed-line in the 93 per cent will be an end
piece of copper. Because we are closing down the copper network.

Next year when we start the roll out after the Telstra deal's been endorsed by their shareholders,
we start turning off the copper.

So we'll be taking the copper away and replacing it with fibre.

So small numbers for the first few months here really aren't relevant to the way the roll out will
take place in the future.

That Telstra deal changed the game about the take up rate argument - because it becomes absolutely
across the board NBN fibre into your home.

Also as I've mentioned yesterday in another announcement, we actually will have the very first new
housing estates go live with NBN-only fibre. There's no copper.

These are new homes that are being built around Australia, the first ones will be in Sydney which
will only have the NBN fibre - so as each new housing developments gets... people move into over the
next 12 months, 18 months, two years, and onwards - they're all NBN fibre.

JOURNALIST: But Minister, are you fighting apathy? Are you finding that a lot of people, there are
reports of people in Brunswick just not caring?

MINISTER CONROY: Look, I'm not finding it at all. Everywhere I go in Australia, the only question
people have for me is can you do my house first, can you do my street, can you do my suburb. I'm
not finding apathy at all.

And I think if you talk to some of the people here today, there's nothing apathetic. There is an
education process that we do have to go through. One of the reasons that I said today was we've
given grants to councils - we're giving grants to small businesses - is to begin that education

So do I think that every single person in Australia or even here in Brunswick understands yet the
potential for the National Broadband Network? Absolutely not.

And we are working with local communities, local small business organisations, local councils,
local regional development groups to begin that education process.

So we have a lot of work to do on the education process, but if you talk to the people that are
using it now today - whether they're the users here, and I'm not sure if sambo9 from one of the
Whirlpool threads sites - David Liffe will know who I mean - he's here today. But this is a bloke
who's been online, and saying God, can you hurry up and connect my house. Can you hurry up and
connect my business. I am dead keen to do it.

But we're finding that with the education process once people have begun using it and experiencing
it, they don't want to go back.

JOURNALIST: What do you mean by education process, though, what-

MINISTER CONROY: Well there'll be training for small business about how to create a website.

We've still got something like a third of small businesses in Australia who don't even have a web
presence, never mind an interactive website with a bit of video on it.

So we've got a lot of educating still to do. This is small business, I'm not being critical there -
they've got, you know, they're struggling, they're surviving, they're got a day to day business to
run. But they're going to need to jump into the 21st century - as their rivals start developing
websites, they're going to get left behind.

So if you're a tourism business in Tasmania for instance, and four of your customers in a bed and
breakfast, they've all got an online video presence that you can do a tour of the house - you can
look at the food being cooked as part of the presentation on the website, compare that to here's my
phone number and a picture of the house out front - I mean there's an education process for the
broader community, but particularly for small business.

JOURNALIST: And what about older residents? I've spoken to a lot of older residents today who said,
oh look, I don't really know too much about it.

MINISTER CONROY: No look, I think if you talk to a couple of the elderly groups that are working
with us, they will tell you this - once you've begun this education process, and I can get, I think
Nan Young's here name, I can get her to give you a ring - she will dispel this myth that older
people just aren't interested.

Yes, there is an education process for those who've never used it before.

And if they don't want to, they don't need to. They can just unplug from the wall and plug in to
the new box and just keep on making phone calls.

It's not - we're not forcing people to take broadband. They'll still just be able to make a phone
call. But where you've got a couple of programs the government currently run for pensioners in
particular, they're very, very successful.

So once they get a taste of it, they'll - like everybody else - they just don't ever want to go

PM: I think just before we move to the next question if I can make a comment there - we do need to
remember that some of the health applications that can make such a difference even to the major
question as to whether people can stay in their own homes or need to move to a different form of
accommodation, that those health questions are impacted by the NBN. Stephen and I have seen living
examples of that where people - because of the NBN in Tasmania - are able to monitor their health
conditions from home, be in contact with their GP, older Australians for whom this gives
independence and more time in their own home than they would otherwise experience. And the other
point I wanted to make is the Mayor of Moreland pressed the button with us. He later presented me
with a storyboard that they are using as part of the educational efforts here.

This is wonderful multicultural Brunswick. There are many people here who fit the description that
you've given - young, urban professionals, tech-savvy.

But this is also home to a lot of people who migrated to this country and who will need assistance
in their original languages to understand the power of the National Broadband Network. But once
they do understand it, imagine the transformative power for their lives - these are people who want
to keep in contact with family overseas.

And this will give them a range of choices about being in contact with grandkids back in Greece and
Italy and Turkey and other places that they've never had before.

Yes - there was a question here.

JOURNALIST: Some would say that (inaudible) isn't needed, that the take up rate (inaudible) that
you don't need this for metropolitan areas. And the take up rate of only 14, which I know is just a
trial, doesn't give much confidence about (inaudible) right.

PM: I'll get Minister Conroy to answer, but I fear I should say to you at this point - settle in.

MINISTER CONROY: Look - let's be clear. You obviously don't live in a rim. You're not blocked by,
in a street or a suburb that's blocked by a rim. You're obviously not blocked by a pair gain.

Telstra have deployed all of this technology over the last 10 or 15 years that actually blocks
broadband. One point two million Australians who live in metropolitan Australia can't get access to
broadband better than bare minimum ADSL. Not ADSL2 plus - 1.2 million Australians are blocked by
what's known as rims, which are cabinets that don't allow broadband to go through them, or pair
gains which block it in your street.

So this argument, the private sector will do it, well 11 and a half years John Howard and Peter
Costello said the private sector should provide it, and what do we get after 11 and a half years,
1.2 million Australians in metropolitan Australia couldn't get any form of broadband at all. Not to
mention the 40 per cent of Australians in regional Australia who can't get any access to
competition, decent DSLAMs - that's those boxes they put in exchanges to send it along - so the
private sector had its chance. And they failed monumentally for 11 and a half years under John
Howard's broadband plans.

And all we're seeing from Malcolm Turnbull yesterday is more of the same. We'll invite the private
sector to tender for it. Well, actually, they don't need you to invite them to tender for it, they
could be deploying if they wanted to. And because of the industry structure, because of the way
Howard sold off Telstra, vertically integrated monopoly, we had no serious investments since the
'90s, when the HFC competition collapsed and Optus went broke $5 billion.

If you talk to Optus, they will tell you the idea that the private sector will step in and compete
with the incumbent just didn't happen.

JOURNALIST: Mr Young, if I could ask you, you mentioned in your speech about units and high rises.
There's a number of those sort of buildings here. What are the challenges for the units and so

HARRISON YOUNG: Sorry. Oh, well for a multi-dwelling unit, you typically have to run wires up
through the thing and you have to get permission from the body corporate, or if it's a rental - if
they're rental apartments you have to deal with the owner of the apartment building. So it's a sort
of indirect process.

I would mention this number 14 keeps coming up. More than half of the people in this test site have
asked to be connected already; have said please run the wire and put the device on the side of my
house. So 14 isn't an indication of take-up. The right indication of take-up is 1400.

JOURNALIST: But I guess in this suburb there's a growth of units going up and so forth, so is that
going to (inaudible) it, or you need a lot of cooperation by the sounds of it.

HARRISON YOUNG: If there are new units, I think it's not a problem. It's old units.

JOURNALIST: Okay. So existing units, you do need-


JOURNALIST: a certain degree of cooperation.

HARRISON YOUNG: You need a degree of cooperation.

JOURNALIST: And how - I mean is that forthcoming? Have those people that have signed up, are they
unit holders?

MINISTER CONROY: Well, yeah, we've been talking with the - there's an association representing, you
know, multi-dwelling units, so we are in conversation with them about a whole range of things;
whether it's switching the antenna so you can receive the new digital signals and making them
digital ready for the new TV signals that have been probably been turned off in other parts of the
country, to also talking about broadband.

So we're in conversations with them. Obviously, if they ultimately say no, well as I said, this is
not something we are forcing people to take. If they say no in the short-term, then life will go
on. But at some point down the track there will be a message from Telstra we're turning off the
copper in your exchange, which means your phone line will stop working. And then, at that stage,
they are still able to come and say, okay, let's connect up fibre now.

So ultimately, as the copper, the ageing copper that's degrading in the ground, blocked by winds
and (inaudible) - sorry if you're not a tech head or a geek. I spend all my life in geek websites
nowadays - then you haven't been able to get broadband, but your phone line's going off now, so you
can either go mobile - you can make the decision to go mobile wireless, or you can take the
connection from the NBN fibre, where you can just do phone calls if that's all you want to do.

PM: Yes.

JOURNALIST: In Brunswick you've got about 52 per cent take-up rate so far. The Real Estate of
Victoria wants the government to actually consider an opt-out system. So, basically - because
they're saying that renters can't actually sign up and how people that own the houses aren't
actually getting a chance - what are you going to do? Do you actually agree that it would be a good
idea introducing an opt-out?

MINISTER CONROY: We would welcome that. We - in Tasmania, the Victorian Government, I think, have
said no. Disappointed in that. But that was under the old roll-out methodology where we didn't have
the agreement with Telstra. Once we reached that agreement just a few months ago with Telstra,
which was we would decommission the copper, so the argument about whether or not you said yes or no
this month, or last month, or six months ago, becomes irrelevant.

The choice will become, as we turn off the copper in your street, do you want a fixed line fibre
connection, or do you want to go wireless? And that will be the choice that people will ultimately
make. And owners of properties will quickly discover that - and if you look at America you can
already see this, where there's fibre in new suburbs versus copper in older suburbs, the property
values rise in the fibre areas. There's three to four sometimes five per cent differential already
in America for sites that have got fibre versus sites - suburbs right next door that don't.

So I think there will be an economic incentive for homeowners-

JOURNALIST: (inaudible)

MINISTER CONROY: an economic incentive-

JOURNALIST: call for NBN to actually contact homeowners themselves, rather than allowing it to go
through whatever are the temporary-

MINISTER CONROY: We knock on doors. We - the way it works here in Brunswick, I think was to contact
a renter directly, as well as try and track down the owner. So we actually - we're trying to
communicate with both. Obviously if you own the home and you get the knock on the door, or you get
the pamphlet, then you can deal with it yourself, straightaway. But we have been trying to contact
directly homeowners. This is just an extra step of complexity, but all of that was in the way we
were rolling out previously.

The deal with Telstra means that everybody will need to opt one way or the other; whether they want
to keep the fixed line, the new fibre line, or they're happy to go wireless and that's a choice
we're happy for people to make and landlords will need to make that choice too.

JOURNALIST: What's the timeline on taking away the copper then?

MINISTER CONROY: I think once the - the way it works, about - within 18 months of what we call
saturation of the suburbs - so we've covered most of it, so you've got the exchange covers an area
- within about 18 months of the completion of that, we begin the decommissioning. So it's not
imminent. It's not going to happen in the next six months. We start that process after the Telstra
agreement's ratified by shareholders and we move into next year.

But I would think, that sometime next year, you'll begin to see some places, their copper

PM: You had a question back here.

JOURNALIST: I was going to ask was the Brunswick roll-out too engineering focused? Did you not put
enough effort into the community engagement, because people are aware that something happened,
given the disruption on the street - the concrete being ripped up - but they say something's being
installed, but we don't know what's happening there.

MINISTER CONROY: Yeah, look, there's always more education processes the government, the council
and the NBN can go through. I - these were trials. People seem to forget these were the first five
anywhere in the country. They were our trials. We were learning about the engineering. We were
learning about the communication. And as I've said before, there is more that we need to do - more
as a government, more as the local councils, or the local communities and more that NBN can do.

We're not saying what we've done now was perfect and that's it we don't need to do any more. We are
absolutely committed to that engagement process, to ensure that people understand the benefits of
the NBN into the future. And I think, as word of mouth begins to spread about the capacity - if you
talk to the people down in Tas, they're just excited. If you talk to the new users of our satellite
- interim satellite network. We've got about 200 people now hooked up to NBN's interim satellite -
and the best comment I saw came from a - somebody in Mudgee - it was the Mudgee Guardian - and they
said, with the new interim satellite, our broadband with this new interim satellite is as good as
my family get in Sydney.

So you're beginning to see, around the country, people realising the potential and the capacity of
the National Broadband Network.

PM: All right, we had a question here and then we'll go.

JOURNALIST: Many of Telstra's rivals have expressed concern about Telstra's undertakings that they
can see in the lead-up to the NBN and whether they'll get a fair go - whether in - in comparison to
Telstra's retail arm? Does the government have a view on the adequacy...

MINISTER CONROY: We're in the middle - we're in the process. I've had a look. I talked with the
ACCC. They'll put out a discussion paper in the next couple of weeks. There's a four week formal
consultation process that you have to go through and then the ACCC will consider that.

So we're in the middle of a process and this is a sector unlike any others. In most sectors I've
ever dealt with in politics, there's usually a united common view, not on everything, but on some
core issues. This is a sector where there is no united common view on any issue. So it's no
surprise to see that there's robust comments.

But the ACCC are the independent umpire. And the ACCC have this right and this role and we're not
going to be second guessing the role of the ACCC. Do I always agree with it? No. Because, as you
saw, in the points of interconnect decision, NBN Co and the Government felt 14 was right. ACCC took

So the ACCC are an independent entity.

JOURNALIST: So are you prepared to-

MINISTER CONROY: Well, they're an independent entity. We obviously, at the end of the day, make
judgments but you have an independent competition commissioner for this purpose.

JOURNALIST: Two quick questions. How much has the Government budgeted in education in trying to get
people take and on and use the NBN? And the second one is Harrison appeared to suggest in the
presentation that the current free connection is going to change in the interim, people might be
charged to connect up. Could you expand on when that might happen?

HARRISON YOUNG: Not clear yet.


HARRISON YOUNG: Not clear yet.

MINISTER CONROY: If, for instance, three years after the NBN's moved through - and I'm just picking
a random number - three years after we've moved through, every worker's moved on to another city,
and you suddenly put up your hand and say, hey, we'd like to be connected, then the NBN will have
to make a decision how they'll handle that.

But there's an 18-month period, as I mentioned, roughly, 12 to 18 months where the connections are
still taking place, before the copper's cut and I would imagine for all that period you could still
take it up. But NBN ultimately have to make a business decision about that.

To get new connections on homes, Telstra charge at the moment, to get new gas connections people
charge, after you've done the initial rollouts, so this is not unusual but we're offering a free
connection for a long period into the future when the NBN's in and around.

JOURNALIST: Up to 18 months then.

MINISTER CONROY: As I said, the decommissioning process is 12 to 18 months so any stage there,
while you're in the neighbourhood, in the fibre serving area, as we call them, or exchanges as
Telstra call them. Again, sorry for the geek stuff. So - so that's a business decision ultimately
NBN will have to make.

JOURNALIST: On the education?

MINISTER CONROY: Look, we've got some more announcements to come on that and I don't want to give
you a scoop today.

PM: Yes.

JOURNALIST: There seems to be growing disquiet in the industry about the number of points of
interconnect. Is there any (inaudible) for that decision?

MINISTER CONROY: The ACCC weighed up all of the arguments. Let me be clear about this. I'm on the
side of some of the people who are complaining about this. We lost the debate. The ACCC have made
the debate and the world has moved on but, having said that, some people said that there'll be no
aggregators come into the market but only Telstra and Optus. We've already seen aggregators come
into the market. A whole new business - set of businesses have been created to deal with this
issue. So I think people need to draw and deep breath and just see how the market unfolds. It's
already unfolded and surprised some people and even some of those critics have recognised that the
aggregators that have come in that aren't Telstra and Optus, will ameliorate some of that.

But I also think the NBN are always very conscious of these issues and have been considering all of
the arguments but reconsidering the POI decision, not something the Government is going to do. We
made our views very clear. NBN made their views very clear. The ACCC made that call.

JOURNALIST: We heard some announcements this week about some of the new sites that are going to
going, sort of a road map now for the NBN for the next year. What's the number, was it 55,000


JOURNALIST: That's a much slower rollout than I think a lot of people were expecting. I guess a
question to the Prime Minister, are you confident in two years when you're facing an election
you're going to be able to stand up and say we have come as far and as well as we were expecting
when we announced this, you can point to this as clear progress?

PM: I'll go to the Minister, but I'm very confident with what is happening with the National
Broadband Network and I'm also very confident that people will see the possibilities and
opportunities of the National Broadband Network.

Like Minister Conroy I've had the opportunity to have a window on the journey in Tasmania where we
started first and having a window on that journey clearly showed that as the NBN was being rolled
out there was excitement and interest as people got involved and then there was word of mouth in
local communities. People came to understand more and more what it could mean for them.

We're going to see that happening in other parts of the country, in the regional centres where
we've seen rollout and now right here in Brunswick.

MINISTER CONROY: There's two - two factors. When the corporate plan was put out back in December,
and it was written a few months before that, as you'll remember, there were two factors that
changed since that corporate plan.

The first was the POI decision. The point decision, again, apologies for the geek stuff. The POI
decision caused a bit of a redesign of the network because instead of not having to access any of
Telstra's exchanges, or other equipment and ducts and things, we needed to so we physically have to
check whether the Telstra exchanges around these 121 POIs and that was a whole new process. So
about three months or so was lost to the kick-off of the build because of the POI decision and
about three months because the Telstra deal, which was very complex, to about three months longer
than expected.

So I still think we'll be past a million homes - and when I say past that doesn't mean they've
taken a connection. Some people keep making this mistake but we'll have probably about half a
million Australians using the National Broadband Network by the time of the next election and it's
those half million people that Malcolm Turnbull has to give an assurance to that prices aren't
going to go up.

Because Malcolm Turnbull is cutting up the business case for NBN and selling it off. So what is
going to happen to those half a million Australians using an NBN based on the cross-subsidised
price across the country, the $24 that NBN are charging for the base product, which feeds into the
$34, $35 prices that Exetel and Dodo are talking about.

What is going to happen to half a million Australians' price of their broadband if Malcolm Turnbull
cuts up the NBN? So he's not demolishing it any more he's just cutting it up and selling it off. So
half a million Australians need Malcolm Turnbull to answer that question.

JOURNALIST: Do you think, when (inaudible) he'll be jumping on NBN's shoulders and saying well,
we've got it here-

MINISTER CONROY: Yeah, no, I've enjoyed the fact they voted against the structural separation of
Telstra a couple of months ago but now they're passionate advocates for it.

I think Paul Keating once said it would be like all the financial reforms, we built the Empire
State Building and they came along and put a brick on top and said, hi, look what we've done.

We've done the hard yards on structural separation and, worse, Malcolm Turnbull yesterday indicated
they're going to go backwards.

They'll invite Telstra. Well, the Howard government invited Telstra a few times and we saw what
happened there.

He'll invite Telstra to structurally separate and if they choose to say no we've gone back 10
years, we've gone back - all of the hard yards, the hard reforms, the microeconomic reforms that
we've delivered on - we've delivered on even in minority government despite all the predictions
we'd never be able to get legislation through the Parliament, we've got Malcolm Turnbull promising
to go backwards.

This is like Malcolm Turnbull's vision is like if he was in charge of building the Sydney Harbour
Bridge in the 1920s, he'd have built it one lane. One lane because he's not building for the

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, in regards to aged care.

PM: We'll just check if there's - if we've come to an end of the broadband questions before we move
to other issues. Yes?

JOURNALIST: You've obviously got a concern there with what Turnbull's saying. You admit there's an
education deficiency there as well and a recent security scare. Is there a perception problem with
the NBN at the moment amongst ordinary Australians?

MINISTER CONROY: Look, there was no security scare. If I can just absolutely make this point clear.
NBN was never compromised and never threatened. People were confused, I think, by the term retail
service provider, thinking that that meant they provided services to the NBN.

The company involved was a customer of the NBN that provide services to individuals in Brunswick,
not to the NBN.

So when they - the phrase was they tunnelled in under the firewalls. They tunnelled in under the
firewalls of that company, not of the NBN. They weren't even connected to the NBN when the breaches
took place. There was no security scare.

JOURNALIST: But a lot of people wouldn't know that, exactly, so it would add to a public perception
that maybe the NBN isn't going as good as you say it is.

MINISTER CONROY: As I said, I agree there was a misconception almost entirely created by inaccurate
reporting. Now, some of that was, to be fair to the journos involved, some of that was because of
some of the language being used by the police - and I'm not being critical of the police. If you
looked at the cutting, like literally the cutting of the tape that was done of Neil Gaughan's
interview, you got the perception because of the way it was cut that he was talking about the NBN.
He wasn't. And even by the end of his interview he said he wasn't but people were using the clip at
the beginning which was he was specifically referring to the company that had been penetrated, not
the NBN.

PM: And I do think on community perceptions of the NBN, what we've seen as the NBN's been rolled
out in different parts of Australia is a great degree of enthusiasm and enthusiasm growing as
understanding's grown.

Now, there was a last question on the NBN and then we'll move to other issues. Yes?

JOURNALIST: A quick one just clarify how many people, come October, in Brunswick will be able to
sign up?

MINISTER CONROY: In Brunswick we'll turn it on for competition. At the moment we actually, as part
of the trial arrangements, we don't allow people to go round poaching. So, again, this perception
that we've only had 40 - we are limiting it by design.

JOURNALIST: Yeah, but when that's lifted?

MINISTER CONROY: When that's lifted it's open slather.

JOURNALIST: As many as can-

MINISTER CONROY: As many as want to start coming on board can contact their RSPs and it's the

JOURNALIST: Is it a trial site?

MINISTER CONROY: It is a trial site, yes, because we've only got NBN in the trial site. So we'll be
opening up in October for competition to start.

Now, as people have made the point, people often have two-year contracts so you may have it
connected already but you may have got six months to go in your Telstra contract. You're not going
to break your contract and take up NBN Co, so it's not like every single human being will suddenly
decide they're going to take the new service right there on day one but people will start pounding
the streets. You'll see Optus, you'll see Telstra, you'll see Primus, you'll see iiNet, Internode,
knocking on doors, selling new packages and I've got to tell you, in a couple of weeks' time
there's some very exciting new packages going to come online.

PM: Okay, so this is the absolute last one on broadband, and then we'll see if there - you've got
another question?

Yeah, last one on broadband.

JOURNALIST: The internet's already disrupted the retail industry to an extent. Will the broadband,
will the NBN accelerate that disruption and are some established retailers concerned about that,
have they expressed any concern?

PM: Well, just can I say on the question of retailing, first and foremost, I wouldn't adopt your
language. There are great Australian companies who are retailers, who are making the most of the
internet to sell their products in a different way. Indeed, some of today's media records the
journey of some of those companies.

So, I think many people would be very familiar with how their favourite Australian retailer is
changing the way they work and they can now go into the shop or they can make an order online.

On the question of sales overseas and the GST, that has been the subject of discussion. The
relevant minister referred that for advice, and, of course, the advice is becoming available and it
will then be able to have that discussion informed by that advice.

MINISTER CONROY: I think the Access Economics' report, when I think the Prime Minister quoted
earlier was 80,000 jobs, I think you said, being created as part of the growth of the internet. So,
it's not a - all the jobs are being lost in one area and none are being created. This is something
that is generating growth, and you've just got to look that Access Economics' study yesterday to
see that things are changing.

But it's disrupted the music industry, it's disrupted the film industry, it's disrupted the book
industry, it's disrupt... car yards, it's disrupted the vehicle sales industry. The media themselves,
the online - so this is, as Ross Gittins described it yesterday in the - writing about the Google
report, this is a disruptive thing that's just beginning, and it's going to continue to spread.
But, at the same time as it's disrupting some areas, new areas are coming through.

PM: I think we've just got to remind ourselves, you know, the creation of the telephone, certainly,
caused a change for the messenger boy industry. I'm not sure too many people would want to go back.

So, if that's the last question on NBN, we might say farewell to Harrison and what else have we


JOURNALIST: Just a quick one on aged care.

PM: Sure.

JOURNALIST: What are you actually supporting? I mean, are you backing bonds?

PM: Well, I'm very glad to take that question. On Monday next week, we will release the
Productivity Commission report into the future [break in transmission]. No-one should make any
assumptions about the government's position. And the government's position will not be released on

What will happen, following the release of that Productivity Commission report, is I think there
will be a national conversation, a national debate around its findings and that's a good thing.

But what I want to make clear is the values we will bring to making the decisions following the
receipt of that advice from the Productivity Commission, and those values are-

[Technical problems with microphone]

JOURNALIST: (inaudible) you can't say?

PM: No, no, I was just saying, I'm going to - the values we're going to bring to responding to the
Productivity Commission report are that we are, of course, going to make sure that we look after
those older Australians who need our assistance the most. We won't be leaving anybody behind.

Second, we will be making sure older Australians enjoy security.

Third, we will be bringing new choice for older Australians, new choices compared with anything
that they've had before.

So, we want to see new choice and control over their lives for older [audio break] which is
different to what people have experienced in the past. New choice and new control. I think that's
very important too.

And finally, of course, we will bring our values about making sure that there is a fair and
sustainable funding arrangement for the future.

But I'd stress again, no-one should make any assumptions here about the advice that will be in the
Productivity Commission report or the government's response to it.

The report will be delivered and - well, the report's been delivered. It will be released on
Monday. And then, of course, we will have a national conversation that follows. But I wanted to be
very clear about what will drive me as we deal with this debate.

JOURNALIST: The government's proposing to ban commissions paid to stock brokers for share trades.
The industry says there's no evidence of any problem with commissions in that area as distinct from
other parts of the services industry. Why is the government proposing a ban where there doesn't
seem to be a problem?

PM: Well, look, Minister Shorten's been working through a process here to make sure, obviously,
that there are always the right incentives to do the best thing by Australians who, you know, seek
to be involved in the share market and so many do. So Minister Shorten's still working his way
through that process.


JOURNALIST: Is a fast-rail link still on the agenda given it's going to cost $100 billion?

PM: Minister Albanese is releasing an important report, which puts a lot of facts and figures on
the table about high-speed rail.

Now, I can understand that many people are very enthusiastic to see high-speed rail as part of the
nation's future. I think, with all these facts and figures on the table, we are going to have a
national discussion about what all of this can mean for people who want to move between cities and
regions and between cities and cities quickly and by rail.

The report is there to inform a national conversation. I think people have talked about high-speed
rail for a long period of time. What we haven't had is the good [break in transmission] good
statistics that this report provides.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister (inaudible) one, would you choose that over plane travel?

PM: Well, you're talking about something a long way in the future. As this report makes clear, this
is a very, very big project, considerable cost. Also, major planning issues to be thought through.
That's why it's right for us to inform the national debate.

JOURNALIST: New South Wales - sorry, just on the carbon tax. New South Wales Treasury modelling has
found that the carbon tax will cost 31,000 jobs and wipe up to four billion off their economy. Was
- is that what you anticipate?

PM: What we believe will happen is what our Treasury has done, modelling this carbon pricing
package. What our Treasury has said is that 1.6 million jobs will be created.

And in respect of all of this, what I would say to Premier O'Farrell is he should stop trying to
find a way to blame increases in state charges on the federal government, and he should take the
necessary responsibility for doing the right things to run his state.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, just your response on the horrific story that everybody's talking about
today in Sydney about the 18 year old girl with the (inaudible) and what your thoughts are on those
extreme tactics coming to Australia.

PM: Well, as Prime Minister and as an Australian, there's no place for violence in our country.
People are rightly appalled when they see any reports of violence. So, there's no place for
violence and I'd utterly condemn any new ways of thinking about hurting fellow Australians.

So, no place for violence in our wonderful country which, of course, we always want to be a
peaceful and safe place.

JOURNALIST: You'll stand by your modelling which shows a 10 per cent increase in the electricity

PM: Yes, of course. And these are the same people who modelled the impact of the GST and got it

Thanks very much.