House debates

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Statements by Members


1:33 pm

Photo of Pat ConaghanPat Conaghan (Cowper, National Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Social Services) Share this | | Hansard source

Over the past 3½ years I've worked very closely with my smaller and remote communities to get them access to better mobile communications. We have seen fires and floods and drought, and during those times of disaster the lack of communication has certainly provided difficulties for our emergency services and put our remote residents in danger.

Over the past 3½ years I've worked with Telstra, Optus and the NBN, having town halls and trying to create innovative solutions to resolve the telecommunications problem. So you can imagine their dismay when this federal government called for a limited tender, particularly in New South Wales. It called for expressions of interest in 27 local government areas, and all 27 local government areas fell within three Labor electorates. There was not one in Liberal electorates, not one in Nationals electorates—all were in three Labor electorates. It's no wonder why residents in rural and regional communities become cynical about governments appointing or placing expressions of interest in their own interest. I call on this government to provide telecommunications services to our people in the country.