Page 3373 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 23 September 2015

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(b) Canberra is one of the 19 designated early NBN rollout sites across the country;

(c) Canberra residents have connected to NBN at a very high rate;

(d) there are currently approximately 120 contractors and subcontractors who have been hired to roll out the NBN in the Canberra region, constituting a major driver of local economic activity in the construction phase;

(e) the NBN is a critical component of the ACT Government’s Digital Canberra strategy to directly improve the productivity, connectivity and liveability of the city; and

(f) current Australian Government policy has seen the delayed rollout of a weaker multi-technology NBN mix, along with a cost blow-out of up to $15 billion, which has resulted in a lack of access to the NBN in the Canberra CBD and Canberra’s regions and suburbs being split by a “digital divide”; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) continue to invest in Canberra’s future through Digital Canberra;

(b) express its concern at the delayed, unequal and unclear access to the NBN for Canberra residents, both within Canberra suburbs and across Canberra regions; and

(c) write to the new Minister for Communications, Senator the Honourable Mitch Fifield, noting the ACT Legislative Assembly’s concern and seeking clarity about the future status of the NBN rollout in the ACT

I am very pleased to move this motion today because it goes to the very heart of this government’s agenda for Canberra and for Canberra’s future. This Labor government recognises the importance of the digital economy. Those on the other side of this chamber appear to be stuck in the past—on issues like the digital economy, public transport and climate change, as examples. They appear wedded to models of the economy, the community and our environment that seem stuck in the past and are resistant to embracing the opportunities of the future, to seizing these opportunities and leading our economy and community to a more sustainable, innovative and productive future.

It took a federal Labor government to develop the national broadband network. And it is taking this current Liberal government to bring it down. It is such a shame that we are bearing witness to the destruction of a nation-building project like the NBN under the watch of the Abbott and Turnbull government. But that is unfortunately exactly what is happening.

When there was a change in federal government in 2013 there were significant changes made to the NBN rollout plan. Under Labor, 93 per cent of homes and businesses would have got a super-fast version of the NBN that uses fibre optic cable

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