That this House:
(1) places on the record that:
(a) the National Broadband Network (NBN) is rolling out too slowly under the current Government, and there are many difficulties being faced by constituents who are trying to access and connect to the NBN;
(b) areas without the NBN are facing significant obstacles in accessing internet services, including ADSL and wireless;
(c) Australians are being left in the dark by this Government about when they will have access to the NBN, with some areas being removed from the NBN roll out map without explanation and with no information forthcoming; and
(d) the Government's second rate NBN will not be sufficient to meet future demand, and will need to be upgraded in the future at great cost; and
(2) recognises that access to the NBN is a necessity for all Australian businesses, students and individuals, and Australians deserve better than a second rate NBN.
It is two years on from the 2013 election, when the member for Warringah was elected Prime Minister and the member for Wentworth became the Minister for Communications. They promised that they would build the National Broadband Network; their promise now lies in tatters. They promised they would build it for $29.5 billion; that has now blown out to almost double the cost, at $56 billion. They promised the NBN could be rolled out to all homes and businesses within three years, by the end of 2016; that has now more than doubled to seven years, by the end of 2020.
The Australian people deserve the National Broadband Network. Due to a lack of effort, a lack of organisation, a lack of foresight and a lack of commitment, we are currently in a situation where, in my electorate of Lalor, people are living in what is now a digital divide—a digital divide where some have the NBN, some have cable, some have ADSL1 and some have ADSL2. Those using ADSL are not shy in coming forward to say that their service is not good enough, that it is not keeping up and that people running businesses and families trying to get ahead with their children are being limited. Their productivity is being limited by limited access to the National Broadband Network. The people of Lalor deserve so much better. We are a resilient community. We are a community that is collaborative and that is working together to overcome the challenges that we confront. Some of those challenges are around employment. On Friday morning I met with BizBuddyHub, a collection of small and micro business operators who have banded together to find a space to work, where they can collaborate and create jobs, where they can work locally inside the community, and where they can have their children with them if they need to. But, most importantly, they are desperately trying to find a home where they can access fast broadband, because it is imperative for their businesses that they do. So I move this motion to say clearly that this is not good enough, that a digital divide is not what we need in our community and that our productivity depends on us having the best.
There have been no new areas in the electorate of Lalor added to the NBN rollout map since the election in 2013. In fact, there have been parts of Lalor taken off the future maps, and it is incredibly unfair that now people are going to be waiting possibly for five years to even know when the NBN will be coming. I have covered those with slow access to the internet, but there are those in greenfields with no access, who are relying on very expensive wireless internet.
The pits are being dug. Telstra are not connecting because they are waiting for the NBN to be rolled out. This is incredibly unfair. Many in the electorate have contacted me in recent weeks to say: 'We have looked at the maps, Joanne. Can you tell us when we will get the NBN in our area?' From different parts of the electorate the questions come thick and fast. People are aware that this is an unfair situation and they are aware that they are being put at a disadvantage.
I have had contact recently from many people in the electorate who are actually lucky enough to be having the NBN rolled out, but again it is fraught with difficulties. People are losing days at work as they book and re-book to have the connections done because the NBN arrives and is connected and then their provider arrives and says, 'No, it's not working,' and they have to start the process again. Many in the electorate are contacting me to complain about the effectiveness of the NBN rollout. We have people without the internet, people with slow speeds and people who are lucky enough to be getting the NBN but who are losing productivity. This really is not good enough from this government, and we really need to hold them to account.
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