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Mounting concern about Labor's aerial cable plan.



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Fri, 21st August 2009 MOUNTING CONCERN ABOUT LABOR'S AERIAL CABLE PLAN

Senator the Hon Nick Minchin Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

There is mounting concern about the Rudd Government’s plan to deploy ugly aerial cables across the country as part of its reckless $43 billion National Broadband Network proposal, Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Nick Minchin said.

News Limited reports today that Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is prepared to override state governments and councils to grant planning approval for the roll out.

Telecommunications expert Professor Ross Kelso described the plan to use overhead cables in a next generation broadband networks as “simply ludicrous”.

Lobby group Cables Downunder has also slammed the Rudd Government saying the use of aerial cables is “an arrogant approach to the inheritance we leave the Australian community of tomorrow”.

“This is a real ‘sleeper issue’ and I suspect many Australians will be astonished to learn that the widespread use of overhead cables is even being contemplated,” Senator Minchin said.

“The Rudd Government must come clean on how much aerial cable it plans to use and where it will be rolled out. Considering the enormous $43 billion cost of this proposal, I think most Australians would expect much better than this.

“The Government must not ride rough-shod over communities to roll out these cables. Residents and councils must be properly consulted and any concerns appropriately addressed.

“Ugly black cables, strung between old power poles is hardly the image that comes to mind, when Mr Rudd spruiks the NBN as an historic national building project,” Senator Minchin said.