Page 750 - Week 02 - Thursday, 23 February 2012

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National broadband network

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Economic Development. Minister, can you please inform the Assembly about the rollout of the national broadband network in the ACT?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Porter for her question and for her interest in the national broadband network. I can advise the Assembly that construction is underway in Gungahlin. The first two sites in Gungahlin will be in Ngunnawal and Amaroo, and within the next 18 months coverage will extend to just short of 21,000 residences in these suburbs.

Mrs Dunne: A point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, one moment, Mr Barr. Stop the clocks, thank you.

Mrs Dunne: I am a bit slow to get to my feet on this occasion, but in what sense is Mr Barr responsible for the national broadband network?

MR SPEAKER: You might assist me here, Mr Barr, because I do not—

MR BARR: Through the Economic Development Directorate, the ACT government is engaged as a land developer in relation to these projects. So yes, I have direct responsibility for the government in this matter.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. There being no point of order, you are free to continue, Mr Barr.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. As I was saying, in Ngunnawal and Amaroo this is the second biggest physical rollout of the national broadband network in the New South Wales-ACT region. On average, it is expected to take 12 months from the start of the fibre network rollout in a given area until residents are then able to access high-speed broadband over the NBN.

As members would be aware, this is a nationally significant project. It is a project that, with thanks to the vision of the federal Labor government, will bring super-fast broadband internet right across Australia, including of course to the ACT. We are delighted that Gungahlin is the area where the rollout is occurring en masse, because I am sure many members of this place who represent Gungahlin would be aware of some of the difficulties that residents have had in accessing high-speed broadband.

The NBN has a 12-month schedule of works that will be updated on a quarterly basis to include additional locations. These quarterly updates will include additional sites in Canberra. Early next year, the company will also issue a three-year indicative view of the rollout, to be updated annually until the anticipated completion in 10 years time.

The ACT government is in the process of negotiating a contract with NBN Co for the provision of fibre in its new developments. I am sure Mrs Dunne will be delighted to

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