House debates

Tuesday, 27 October 2009


Kingston Electorate: Broadband

8:35 pm

Photo of Amanda RishworthAmanda Rishworth (Kingston, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I am very pleased to rise to raise an issue that is very important in my electorate and very important to small businesses in my electorate and that is the issue of broadband. I have raised this many times in the House and I want to raise it again because it is such a critical issue. We hear a lot from the opposition in this place about their being the champions of small business, but we have not heard them talk about broadband. In fact, the Southern Economic Development Board in my electorate that looks at economic development within the southern suburbs of Adelaide have put broadband access as the No. 1 issue that is stopping expansion of businesses in the southern suburbs. This is just how critical the issue of broadband is. So I was very pleased with the government and support wholeheartedly the government’s announcement about the National Broadband Network. I am continually disappointed with the opposition. I think the opposition is going to support something about the National Broadband Network and then they disappoint me. It keeps continuing, as it did last week when we saw them not supporting the encouragement of structural separation of Telstra.

Broadband is very critical, but I want to not just talk about the negatives and the failures of the previous government on broadband but look at some of the things in the interim that are happening in my electorate while the National Broadband Network is being built. I draw the House’s attention to a very cooperative announcement made between the Commonwealth, the state government and Adam Internet. This organisation is looking to build what is called Adam WiMAX across the southern suburbs of Adelaide. Adam WiMAX is putting in a number of wireless services that will be rolled out by November 2010. This will mean that large parts of my electorate which have struggled—places like Hallett Cove, Sheidow Park and Aldinga—will now be able to receive broadband at metro equivalent prices and at real metro equivalent speeds. In fact, they will be receiving speeds of 12 megabytes, which is particularly important because they have not been able to receive that for so long.

This is incredibly important for the local area. Once again, this is an initiative that has been supported by the Commonwealth government, the state government and by industry. In addition to that, I am very pleased that it is also being supported by the business enterprise centre. They will be running a special forum for small businesses to tell them exactly how they can access this. The business enterprise centre does a very good job in my local area. It is called the Southern Success Business Enterprise Centre. It connects small businesses with the advice that they need and with organisations that can help them. It is a conduit in my electorate, helping small businesses to succeed. This announcement, along with this forum, will go a long way to helping businesses succeed. So I would like to commend the business enterprise centre for doing this.

I would also like to commend Adam Internet, the state government and the federal government for seeing such an area as being important. The Adam WiMax network will address more than 350 black spots across Adelaide and will be a huge improvement. Local businesses—such as wineries or even the gentleman I met who runs an architectural firm from home—have been constantly frustrated by not being able to work online nor to upload. One of the wineries has to regularly send order forms overseas. I have spoken about that winery on a regular basis. They have such difficulty, such frustration and such productivity issues when it comes to the internet, so I am very pleased that the state government will be contributing up to $3 million.

The network will create 110 new jobs across South Australia as it is being constructed, and when it is connected it will support 74 permanent jobs for ongoing operations. Adam Internet is a good South Australian company. It employs a lot of people. Once again, it illustrates that when there is competition in the telecommunications field and when there is a level playing field, really good things can be achieved. (Time expired)