House debates

Wednesday, 16 September 2015


Shortland Electorate: Broadband

7:40 pm

Photo of Jill HallJill Hall (Shortland, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Tonight I rise to talk about the availability of the internet, ADSL and the NBN in Shortland electorate. On Monday, Shortland electorate will have the fibre to the node turned on, and that will help some of the residents who have been struggling with poor broadband connection. But I have to say that the people of Shortland are extremely disappointed that they are getting a second-rate NBN, not the NBN that they hoped to get. They are also disappointed that the Prime Minister's second-rate NBN has blown out in cost. We were promised it for $29.5 billion, and now it is $56 billion. We were promised that it would be rolled out within three years; now it is to be 2020, I think. It is very, very disappointing.

There are those parts of the electorate that already manage to get reasonable ADSL, but those parts of the electorate are getting the NBN turned on first. I remember the Prime Minister saying that it would be those areas that struggled the most with their internet reception that would be getting the NBN first, but I have to share this with the House: it is those parts of the Shortland electorate that are getting it last. The NBN will go to the bridge at Swansea and will go to the end of the 43 Central Coast exchange, but all the area in between misses out.

I would like to share with the House an email I received from a constituent who just moved back to Caves Beach, which is over the bridge, after spending 7½ years in Macau. He watched the debate about NBN and fibre to the node with great interest, but he did not think it was going to be an issue for his family until he arrived at Caves Beach. He is unable to connect to the internet because there is no space on the network. That was an email I received last week. So there is no NBN coming to Swansea and Caves Beach—no space on the internet.

I have to say that this does not finish at Caves Beach. Caves Beach has not got 4G reception. It has limited wireless. You go a little bit further down the road to Nords Wharf, and it is even worse. I am absolutely horrified that the Prime Minister would have promised the people of Australia something and have delivered something very different.

Another constituent emailed me last week, and we had quite a conversation about the internet. He was devastated because he lacked basic internet services. He is on the Lake Munmorah exchange. That is on the Central Coast in the Chain Valley Bay area. He was told by Telstra that he would be able to connect to the internet in April 2015. Well, here we are in September, and it is still not available. Work has been done on the Lake Munmorah exchange, but it has not been completed. The date when it is supposed to be completed keeps blowing out and blowing out, and 4G is very poor in the area.

I am really pleased that the NBN is being turned on in Belmont next week, but there has been delay after delay after delay. I spoke to those men who were working on installing the NBN. They told me that the copper in the area was in absolutely abominable condition. It was supposed to be July; now it is going to be September, and the other areas in my electorate have been delayed and delayed. The Prime Minister needs to apologise to the people of Shortland for not delivering what he promised or at the cost he promised(Time expired)