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Thursday, 24 November 2011
Page: 13769

Mrs D'ATH (Petrie) (10:51): by leave—I rise to make a brief statement on the second report of the Joint Committee on the National Broadband Network on the rollout of the NBN. As the deputy chair of this committee, I would like to associate myself with the words of the chair, the member for Lyne, in tabling this report. This is the first report to deal more comprehensively with what has occurred to date in relation to the NBN rollout. The first report released by the committee was really a brief overview, while we awaited the first report of NBN Co.. This second report considers the NBN Co.'s report. Importantly, it notes that many of the rollout's milestones and targets have been met. In many areas there have been delays, as the chair has mentioned, and there are issues about competition and providers. We will continue to work through those issues in future reviews and reports.

Certainly, 2012 is going to be an important year for the NBN Co. rollout. We have welcomed the 12-month plan released by NBN Co., which is outlined in the second report. Importantly NBN Co. has advised the committee that early in the new year it will be releasing its three-year plan, which is eagerly awaited by the committee and the broader community. Everyone is very interested in knowing what the plan is for that rollout—which suburbs and households will get the benefit over the next three years of the NBN coming to their town. In this area people are not asking why we are doing it, but how quickly can we get it. That is why this three-year plan is so important.

The decisions of the ACCC are going to be very important in 2012. We are waiting on a number of those decisions—matters that are currently under consideration which will impact on the future of the NBN Co. rollout. I suspect that will be the subject of the committee's third report, which is due in June 2012. There are positive signs already as witnesses in the second report say that, due to structural separation, there are new providers coming in to providing greater competition. We hope to see more of that and it is something that is positive for the broader community.

Like the chair, I would also like to thank the secretariat and all members of the committee for all of their work this year. As deputy chair, I would also like to thank the chair of the committee for all of his work in trying to manage all the committee members. It is an interesting committee and a very important one. The NBN Co. rollout has major implications and benefits, not just for households but also for businesses, for education, for health. That is why this inquiry and these reports are going to be very important over the coming years as the NBN rolls out. I look forward to continuing my work with the committee. Once again, I thank all of those who have been involved, not just in the development of the second report but also in the ongoing work of the committee.