Thursday, 1 September 2016
Questions without Notice
I thank the member for Banks, who is a very strong advocate for his electorate and a very strong advocate for the National Broadband Network, where by September 2018 there will be some 36,760 homes where the NBN is either under construction or ready for service. That would be a good performance in any situation, but when you look at the extraordinary mess we inherited from those opposite you see it is an impressive performance. Our friends opposite managed to spend $6 billion in 6½ years. They started with a plan written on the back of a beer coaster by those two financial geniuses Kevin Rudd and Stephen Conroy. In fact, the former Prime Minister, Mr Rudd, thought it was such a good financial opportunity he recommended that there should be infrastructure bonds and that mums and dads should invest in these bonds. After 6½ years, how many premises around Australia were connected? They had 6½ years and 51,000 was all they managed to do.
The opposition leader has been throwing around that term 'stuff-up' fairly freely recently. If you want to see a rolled gold example of a stuff-up, look at what this lot did with the National Broadband Network. What did we do when we came to government under the leadership of the then Minister for Communications and now Prime Minister? We set about fixing it. We put in place a competent board, led by Ziggy Switkowski. We put in place a world-class CEO, Bill Morrow. We introduced a sensible business strategy, the multi-technology mix. We introduced a transparent process under which the rollout numbers were reported online every week. That never happened under that lot opposite, because they had a lot to hide.
The results speak for themselves. Over three million premises around Australia can be connected. We are connecting more than 50,000 premises a month. That is the same number in one month that Labor took six years of government to achieve. In the financial year 2016 the number of homes able to connect doubled from 1.2 million to 2.9 million, beating the corporate plan, and revenue was $421 million, beating the corporate plan. Compared with the period under Labor, when NBN regularly missed its targets, we have a clear, consistent plan to deliver the NBN. We are executing against the plan. We are on target to complete the build by 2020. The Turnbull government is delivering. The NBN is getting rolled out. That is what competent delivery is about.