24 November 2021

Statements by Senators

As the last two years of rolling lockdowns across Australia have shown, access to a reliable, high quality internet connection is essential.

Now it’s not a luxury, it’s a utility and it’s important that we get it right.

And yet what we have seen from the Government is failure after failure and, as is so often the case the Coalition is neglecting regional areas which have been impacted the worst.

Mr Acting Deputy President, there is no getting away from the fact that the Liberal and National parties have left regional Australia behind, where over 1.8 million homes have been dudded with copper-based fibre-to-the-node.

For instance, in the electorate of Wannon, in Warrnambool just over 400 homes enjoy a fibre-to-the-premise connection—that’s compared to over 15,000 that are on the Government’s low-rent fibre-to-the-node scheme. In Hamilton, a nearby town, not a single home has fibre-to-the-premise, not even one.  

While the Morrison-Joyce Government continues to leave regional Australians behind, Labor has a plan. A plan to deliver them the same high quality internet access that those who live in metropolitan areas often take for granted.

Our plan will deliver regional Australians the broadband that they deserve and need by providing full-fibre access to almost two million homes by the year 2025.

This is a significant investment in the future growth potential and network resilience of our regions, as well as for small businesses. An investment that will deliver 12,000 jobs for construction workers, engineers, and project managers, in our regions and in our suburbs.

It’s clear the Liberals and Nationals cannot be trusted when it comes to modern technology.