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Coalition Bill will identify broadband blackspots and target regional areas where immediate investment is required



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Luke Hartsuyker MP

Shadow Minister for Regional Communications, Shadow Minister for Youth and Sport Federal Member for Cowper

Media Contact: Greg Pierce 02 66 52 62 33 0408 532 785 Email:greg.pierce@aph.gov.au Canberra: 62 77 4447

21 October 2010

Coalition Bill will identify broadband blackspots and target regional areas where immediate investment is required

Shadow Minister for Regional Communications, Luke Hartsuyker MP is urging all regional MPs to support the Coalition’s Private Members Bill requiring Labor to release a business case for the National Broadband Network and improve its investment in regional areas.

The legislation lodged in Parliament this week will require the Productivity Commission to release “an analysis of the availability of broadband services across Australia, identifying those suburbs and regions where current service is of a lesser standard or higher price than the best services available in the capital cities.”

“Coalition MPs have supported this proposal in the Party Room but it is essential that all MPs representing regional areas support the legislation if they are serious about improving broadband services outside the main metropolitan areas.

“No matter what solution is adopted to deliver high speed broadband it is vital that areas of the highest need are clearly identified.

“This will ensure taxpayer’s money is spent wisely and there is greater equity of access to high speed broadband.

“The legislation does not delay the NBN and it does not affect construction. The Bill simply ensures that taxpayers receive full details on how the NBN is proceeding, what its business aims are, and what the return on investment will be.

“We all want faster broadband. But this is the largest infrastructure project in Australia’s history and it needs careful scrutiny.

“Given Labor’s track record on wasteful spending and disastrous programs such as pink batts and BER school halls, the Coalition is simply calling for more transparency and a particular focus on the regional areas desperately in need of better broadband service.

“Every regional Member of Parliament should be interested in these outcomes and should support the Private Members Bill,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

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