House debates

Monday, 18 February 2019

Statements by Members


1:54 pm

Photo of Meryl SwansonMeryl Swanson (Paterson, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I recently received an email from Paul McLean, a retired software engineer who lost the NBN lottery. He explained it like this:

I ended up with a broken internet—

The connection was hopeless—

… and only had two options to fix it… move house or pay a whopping $13,122 to the NBN's TCP

Technical Choice Program—

to get it fixed. Moving house would have cost me more, so I reluctantly paid up.

Paul says:

A lot of the problem with showing how unfair the NBN actually is, is that most people in the general population don't really get it. I successfully explained it to my 86 year old mum like this…

Imagine if the Australian electricity supply was taken over by the government and, for budget reasons, they fiddled with the structure so that residences now were randomly allocated different amounts of volts. Some would still get 240 volts, so all of their appliances would continue functioning perfectly. Some residences would get 200 volts, so most of their things would still work, but their huge TV might struggle and would definitely fail if they tried to turn anything else on the same time. Another group of residences would get only 150 volts, and so almost all of their stuff wouldn't work at all, except for lights and a few small appliances. The final group would have a wildly fluctuating voltage supply, so they would never be sure if their appliances would function from day to day.

How can it be fair? The Australian population has to accept— (Time expired)