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Thursday, 11 February 2016
Page: 1474


Ms HALL (ShortlandOpposition Whip) (09:36): Yesterday in the MPI I highlighted the problems with the NBN that have been experienced by constituents in the Shortland electorate. I highlighted the fact that the cost of the NBN had blown out from $29.5 billion to $56 billion. I also highlighted the problems that people in the Shortland electorate were having while connecting to the NBN. I highlighted the problem they were having with their speeds; I highlighted the fact that the constituents that I represent were going without having a telephone for up to two months. I have had constituents contact me who had no telephone, no internet access for two months simply because they decided to sign over to the NBN.

I can say without any hesitation that I have not had one good experience in relation to the NBN rollout given to me. There was only one person who has stated that they actually have got access to the internet, because there was a shortage of ports within the area, but many other people have had appointments cancelled, one after another. Director Gerry Wallace really highlighted it for me, as far as speed was concerned, when he said his old coverage with ADSL was better than what he is getting now. He paid for 50 megabits per second and he gets as low as three megabits per second. He has tried to go back to the ADSL, but has been unable to. So there is this real problem with the NBN, and even the boss of nbn has said, 'Yes, there are problems', but I do not believe they know the solutions.

The other issue I raised over the last sitting period has been the proposed closure of Belmont Medicare office by the government. I met with the minister, and he arrogantly disregarded the concerns of the people of the Shortland electorate—just as he has arrogantly disregarded the fact that people are contacting Centrelink, contacting Medicare and they are having to wait a very long time to get any response on the telephone. When they visit an office, they are met by somebody with an iPad—if they are lucky—and directed to a computer. Shortland electorate is a very, very old electorate, and my office has been inundated with people who have complaints about Centrelink and Medicare service. This is a government with a small government approach to government, and it has total disregard for delivering services to the people of Australia.