House debates

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Constituency Statements

Bowman Electorate: Broadband

10:15 am

Photo of Andrew LamingAndrew Laming (Bowman, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I want to take this opportunity to update the Chamber on what's happening with the NBN in the electorate of Bowman. I've always taken the position that as soon as I have an update from NBN Co I release that to the community. In addition to the communications by that organisation, I'm keen to let everyone know exactly where we are with boots on the ground. My goal has always been to either have the NBN connected or have boots on the ground right across the mainland of my electorate by the next election. We're still on track to do that, but it's not yet fully guaranteed; there are a number of areas that are yet to be scheduled in time for the first half of next year.

With the multitechnology mix that's currently being employed, a very sophisticated cost-benefit economic analysis is being undertaken to identify which technology is best for each area. That will vary, obviously, depending on the existing infrastructure. We already have very high quality Telstra fibre, HFC, in place, and that is being re-purposed and used. Many already have connections to dwellings—about one in three. The large HFC area in my electorate, which is exclusively Telstra and high-quality, is being used and is now in the process of being connected. If you live in Ormiston, Birkdale or Alexandra Hills, there are boots on the ground as of a couple of months ago. That's very promising, because in 12 months we expect it to be fully ready to connect, although there are still areas in Wellington Point and Cleveland that won't be started until very late this year.

But there is some bad news—there always is. I'm on my feet to pass on the bad news that Coochiemudlo Island has slipped back from being connected under the Victoria Point VAP to the other islands. This means they'll lose over a year for their connection date, which was expected to be late this year but will now be pushed to 2020. This very famous island, which Matthew Flinders discovered on his errands around the nation, will be facing a delay for the simple reason that Telstra's information, about running a conduit across to Coochiemudlo that we could simply push fibre through, was incorrect. When they actually examined it, there was no conduit there at all; there's just a cable lying on the seabed. Self-evidently, removing that and putting a new one in requires state and local approval—and a federal EPBC approval, because it's a Ramsar area under Moreton Bay. This will be a complicated process. My goal and my commitment is to streamline those three levels of government in every way that I can to bring those connections to the island.

As they say, those who are patient and wait will be rewarded. The benefits of this real-time cost-effectiveness approach is that there are large amounts of fibre to the curb in my electorate that would otherwise not have happened. Having the fibre running right past your footpath presents obvious benefits. Large areas of southern Redlands and the islands, Sheldon and Victoria Point will be seeing fibre to the curb, which is a very impressive advance on fibre to the node. It gets the speeds that 99 per cent of residents want and can be delivered way quicker, addressing black spots and guaranteeing that we are a federal government that is delivering the NBN services that the nation needs.