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Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Page: 5370

Mr O'DOWD (Flynn) (09:55): Today I want to talk about a looming problem with the telecommunications connections in my electorate, especially in the city of Gladstone. Unfortunately, there is no solution in sight. There is no sign of the NBN rollout; it is not even on the radar. The radio airwaves are full of advertisements spruiking the virtues and the benefits of the NBN, but this money could now be better spent on fixing the problems.

Rockhampton, 100 kilometres to the north, will be hooked up some time after the year 2015. Gladstone, on the other hand, is undergoing an industrial boom—there is $65 billion in gas projects underway at this very point, with new housing allotments and workers villages going up like mushrooms. A lot of these new greenfield housing sites have still to be constructed, in the future. Residents on these greenfield sites have already paid for the internal connections into the new homes for the NBN. This is where the problem is: there is no sign of the NBN being hooked up to the Gladstone area for years to come. So what are these people supposed to do?

A new shopping centre opened on Kirkwood Road. It had no ability to hook up to EFTPOS, the internet or a landline. There was confusion between the NBN and Telstra footprints of the area. The powers that be then decided, 'We'll have to change the network from NBN to Telstra,' but no-one told Telstra. Meanwhile, these new businesses were expected to operate for the first three weeks without any EFTPOS and no internet or landline. You can see the confusion that it has created.

There is a housing shortage in Flynn and Gladstone. Looking into the future, these greenfield sites are all dressed up with nowhere to go.