QWON - Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull - NBN rollout info beyond 18-month plan
Posted March 18, 2015
CATHY McGOWAN (Indi) (14:27): My question is to the Minister for Communications. There is enormous demand
in my electorate of Indi for the NBN, and I am wondering if you could give the House some details on when
we are going to get information about the rollout of the NBN. We have got the first 18 months, and now my
community is wanting to know: when are we going to know about the next three years?
MR MALCOLM TURNBULL (Wentworth—Minister for Communications) (14:27): I really have to pay a compliment to
the member for Indi. She has asked me five times more questions about the NBN than the shadow minister for communications. I mean really! I think the Leader of the Opposition should consider recruiting her as the shadow minister. She is essentially a volunteer in that role. The honourable member asked me the question. I have provided her with a lot of particular details about her electorate.
The NBN has a rolling 18-month forecast of where it is going to be. It is a construction schedule, and that is updated every three months. So another three months will be tacked onto it, as it were, at the end of this month. In the middle of the year, in the second quarter of this year, we expect to have the NBN's revised corporate plan, which will set out its three-year plan.
I know that everybody—my colleagues on the government side and, I am sure, all other members—is anxious to know when the construction work will begin in every single neighbourhood. It is proceeding at a much greater pace than it was under the Labor Party. It will be finished many, many years before it would have been finished under the Labor Party. And obviously it will be much cheaper—at least $30 billion cheaper. I expect in due course it will be seen that the savings will be even greater than that.
But the critical thing is that we make—or the NBN Co, I should say, makes promises or forecasts that it can meet.
There was a genuinely Orwellian arrangement, under the Labor Party, where language and terms were literally
invented. It is worth going back into the Orwellian library. Who could forget the Conrovian outburst?
Mr Champion interjecting —
Mr TURNBULL: We only seek to make you happy; that is all we seek to do. And you are so easily pleased!
There is exhibit A for that proposition sitting right there. The point is, Labor was so outrageous as to actually have
a metric, which had a number that said: 'Premises where construction has either commenced or been completed.'
Under their definition—
Mr Champion interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Wakefield is warned!
Mr TURNBULL: construction commenced when a plan had been ordered, so they could cite millions and
millions of premises—
Mr Champion interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Wakefield has been warned. One more utterance and you will leave.
Mr TURNBULL: where not one shovel, not one mattock, not one truck had ever approached. We are in the real
world, and the honourable member will have more details at the end of the month.