Monday, 14 July 2014
Tonight I rise to speak on behalf of my constituents who struggle on a daily basis to send a text message or receive a call or receive or send a simple email due to significant shortcomings in the telecommunications infrastructure around my electorate or Wright. For those who have not had the good fortune of visiting my electorate, it covers just on 8,000 square kilometres across the south-east region. There are predominantly agricultural sectors, thriving tourism industries and major suburban expansion and growth. The suburban growth has drawn families and couples seeking a tree change into areas in Wright, particularly the areas of Greenbank, Flagstone, Logan Village, New Beith, Hatton Vale, Regency Downs, Kensington Grove. And if you want to imagine what a paradise would look like, I have just listed for you some of the beautiful regions that would fit that description.
But to put a tangible figure on it, based on ABS data there have been close to 10,000 people added to the census in these areas since 2006. I am not anti-growth; I promote the wonderful community spirit and laid-back semi-rural lifestyle that these suburbs offer at every opportunity I get. However, my team and I have been dealing with ongoing constituent inquiries about the state of telecommunications in these areas since I took office in 2010. And it is only getting worse. Since taking office, we have recorded just on 1,000 complaints from residents relating to either telecommunication services or other issues related to it. We have received over 200 just this year, and that has predominately been on the back of a survey that we have asked for. These complaints relate to a broad range of issues, including poor mobile coverage, insufficient ADSL broadband, unreliable wireless internet and failing satellite connections. The community was promised a lot under the previous Labor government, but they delivered very little and now my constituents are understandably frustrated. It is up to us, as a new government, to fix their frustrations.
In response, I have launched a community campaign, calling it 'Connecting the Wright' campaign.
A division having been called in the House of Representatives—