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Thursday, 29 November 2018
Page: 12032

Mr WILKIE (Denison) (13:42): The National Broadband Network is obviously still causing great frustration for many people, including those in Canberra as well as in Hobart. For example, a constituent tells me NBN refused to connect his house because they insisted his house didn't exist, although more recently he's been told the house does exist but he won't be connected until 2019 even though he first contacted NBN in 2017. Another constituent had his whole street connected but not his house, and there's no sensible explanation. Adding to people's woes is that there's no effective complaints mechanism. Yes, there's the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, but it's run by industry and simply isn't up to the job of investigating complaints quickly and effectively. Indeed, one constituent tells me he contacted the TIO to complain about poor speeds and dropouts in September and was told it would be several weeks before they could even look at his complaint. Then came the cycle of blame shifting between NBN and the ISPs.

In other words, there's simply no way to hold these organisations to account, and that's why the government should establish an effective complaints mechanism for all NBN related problems and not just let the industry continue to investigate themselves and shift the blame. The public is quite rightly fed up with the delays and blame shifting with the NBN. It's beyond time the government took control and fixed it, starting with setting up an effective complaints resolution process.