House debates

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009

Second Reading

12:38 pm

Photo of John CobbJohn Cobb (Calare, National Party, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) Share this | Hansard source

I am chastened, Mr Deputy Speaker. It was very remiss of me. I feel very chastened. As I said, we need to know a bit about this plan. Nobody knows. I do not think Telstra knows. The government certainly do not know how they are going to do this plan. It is ridiculous to try to push legislation not just through the parliament but past the Australian people without knowing what that is.

Why do they need to? Why do the Rudd government—the Prime Minister’s government—need to rush this through when they do not even know what they are going to do with it? We can stand here and say, totally correctly, that we were going to look after all but two per cent of regional Australia, and that two per cent obviously had the opportunity to receive a subsidy that allowed them to go on satellite. This plan of the Rudd Labor government will leave 10 per cent—a very high proportion—of regional Australians without modern broadband.

They are in a panic to get this through. They are in a panic to get the ETS through. This government seems to be in a panic to rush things through rather than to get them right. Nobody has any idea why this Labor government wants to put the CPRS or an ETS through before they know what the rest of the world—not to mention the Americans—are doing. In the same way, none of us know why they want to get this telecommunications legislation through before they or anyone else knows what they are going to do.


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