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Tuesday, 24 October 2017
Page: 11765


Mr DICK (Oxley) (15:46): I think it's time we took the volume down after that rant from the minister. They say the hardest word to say is 'sorry', and I know it's impossible for that word to come out of the mouths of any of those opposite. In the alternative universe that those opposite inhabit, I note that this morning the foreign minister said to the party room that, and I'm quoting here, 'Julie Bishop tells the coalition room that the NBN is a success story for the coalition.' That is the alternative universe. Look, I'll be honest sitting on this side of the chamber: if that's the policy of the government, they will be the opposition very shortly because the people of Australia are onto this government. Don't take my word for it—

Mrs Prentice interjecting

Mr DICK: The member for Ryan says 'overconfident'. I'll ignore the 21 Newspolls that we're seeing; I'll ignore that poll after poll shows us that Australians do not trust, through you, Mr Deputy Speaker Coulton, you to handle telecommunications in this nation.

Let's deal with what the minister, who has now vacated the floor, just said. If that's what the foreign minister is saying about the NBN then I suggest she spend a little less time on the red carpet and a little more on blue carpet. I know, by listening to what the government says, that it does not match the commitments that it's promised the Australian people. We have had a lot of history lessons today. That's fine, that's the narrative from the government. We know that the Prime Minister had promised that every household in Australia would be connected to the NBN by last year. We know that the NBN, as promised by the Prime Minister, would cost $29.5 billion. That was your commitment to the Australian people. His multitechnology mess now costs $50 billion, a blowout of $20 billion. He made a commitment; it blows out—the assistant minister is shaking his head.

Mr Taylor: It's not right.

Mr DICK: He's saying that's not right. The Prime Minister promised everyone would have access to NBN by the end of 2016. Through you, Mr Deputy Speaker, is that correct? No answer. By the end of 2016, more than seven million premises were still waiting for connection. The Prime Minister also promised that the NBN would be faster and cheaper. The reality is that he is delivering a second-rate NBN that is slower and more expensive.

We know that last week the communications minister said the government's second-rate NBN would be the envy of the world, but all of a sudden this week the NBN is a train wreck. So what's happened in one week? It went from being in hand to now being in chaos. It went from being commercially viable to the NBN CEO saying that he was no longer sure. As the shadow minister has said, the economics of copper are destroying the NBN. We all know it because when we're out campaigning we're listening to constituents in street corner meetings, at shopping centres—and the member for Macarthur receives the highest amount of complaints of anyone. Yet I know those opposite, who are campaigning and doing street stalls at yacht clubs and at Point Piper and country clubs, don't hear the same message that those on this side of the House are hearing. We hear it day in, day out. And do you know what, Mr Deputy Speaker? I know those opposite get complaints from constituents. I know the so-called minister has said that they deal with every one of those complaints.

Let's talk about my electorate of Oxley, and about my constituent Pam, of Sinnamon Park, who has had problem after problem since the NBN was installed in March this year. Of course, the service provider is blaming the NBN, and the NBN is blaming the service provider. It is still currently unresolved. Another of my constituents, Jean, of Westlake, finally had her issue resolved yesterday. Seven months it took, to solve a simple issue.

This is what the foreign affairs minister said this morning is a great success story for the coalition. On the front page of my local paper we read: 'Stranded. Switching to the NBN was supposed to be a godsend, but for five days last month Naomi and Marcus Hodgson had no internet or phone line at all. The couple, who study and run a business from their Springfield Lakes home, wish they had never chosen to be connected to the NBN.' Yet the foreign minister this morning told the party room it's a complete success for the coalition. Those opposite are in an alternative universe. Just once we would like them to apologise for the mess they've created in Australia which is their NBN. (Time expired)