Page 3382 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 23 September 2015

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in which we had the great boom from the mining industry where Australia reaped billions of dollars in income. The Howard government particularly frittered that away. It failed to spend it on any sort of nation-building projects and just frittered it away. That sums up the lack of vision we have seen for the future for this country from recent conservative governments in Australia.

Mr Doszpot interjecting—

MR RATTENBURY: Once again Mr Doszpot interjects. He was heard in silence, despite the fact that I disagreed with a lot he had to say. It is sheer rudeness coming from the opposition benches. Even Mrs Jones got in on the gig this morning in the earlier discussion about road building in Cotter—

Members interjecting—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Dr Bourke): Order, members.

MR RATTENBURY: These people cannot help but be rude across the chamber. It is a real blight on this place.

Mrs Jones: I was not rude. It is not rude to have an opinion.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Sit down, Mr Rattenbury. Stop the clocks. Mrs Jones, engaging in a conversation with Mr Rattenbury through interjection is unhelpful. Please do not do it. Mr Rattenbury.

MR RATTENBURY: If the only way you can put an opinion in this place is by interjecting, you fail to understand the standing orders. But that probably is the case. Mr Abbott quite famously tasked Mr Turnbull with the wrecking of the NBN, and unfortunately he was quite successful. There can be no doubt about the former Prime Minister’s ability to wreck and ruin. Opting for a lesser mix of technology, the current NBN rollout is predominantly fibre to the node. You may recall they spruiked this lesser project with a three-word slogan: faster, affordable, sooner.

Members may also be aware that current estimates put Mr Turnbull’s NBN at $18 billion over budget and four years behind schedule. I know Ms Fitzharris’s motion says $15 billion; I have seen some different estimates. Either way, it is a very substantial blowout for something that delivers us a B or C grade outcome. Much of the cost blowout is, of course, a result of the revisionist negotiations the coalition was forced to transact with Telstra after choosing to hobble the project midway. This might be a salutary lesson for those opposite.

In 2009 Ookla, a global leader in broadband analysis, ranked Australia’s average broadband download speed as 39th in the world. Since then our international ranking has steadily declined, and it slipped to 59th place earlier this year. Some commentators are warning our world ranking could fall as low as 100 by 2020. In short, fibre to the node technology is cementing Australia’s place as an internet backwater. Far from the internet being about video games—sure, some people use it for that—as online communication, online shopping and online interaction between

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