In an embarrassing spectacle in Tasmania today, Prime Minister Tony Abbott dodged question after question on his broken promise to roll out superfast broadband across the state.
In a farcical press conference with Tasmanian Liberal Leader Will Hodgman – a big supporter of Labor’s National Broadband Network – Tony Abbott was repeatedly asked about his failure honour existing contracts to roll out fibre-to-the-premises broadband.
This is the best the Prime Minister could come up with:
“I think we’ve had a good go on this issue, and we’ll go onto other issues if you don’t mind.”
– Tony Abbott – press conference – Hobart – 22 February, 2014
Mr Abbott then walked out of the press conference, leaving poor Will Hodgman completely stranded, who continued to advocate for fibre-to-the premises broadband long after the Prime Minister left.
“Tasmanians don’t want Tony Abbott’s second-rate copper network – not even Will Hodgman wants it,” Shadow Communications Minister Jason Clare said.
“Tasmanians want Labor’s superfast broadband network – which the Coalition promised before the election they would continue to roll out.
“Tony Abbott left his Liberal colleague stranded today, just like he has left Tasmanian homes and businesses stranded with second-rate broadband.”
Before the election the Coalition said they would honour existing contracts to roll out fibre-to-the-premises broadband right across Tasmania:
“the alternative would be to breach them [the contracts] and that is a course we would not countenance.”
– Malcolm Turnbull – The Examiner – August 17, 2013
Today’s embarrassing scenes come just a few days after Mr Hodgman was caught complaining about Tony Abbott’s broken NBN promise.
“Today’s farce shows all too clearly that Tony Abbott doesn’t care about Tasmanians, and he doesn’t respect Mr Hodgman’s leadership,” Shadow Assistant Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said.
“Tasmanians voted at the last federal election thinking either result would still give them superfast broadband to their homes and businesses.
“After breaking his promise, Tony Abbott is now giving Tasmanians a second-rate copper network, and there’s nothing Will Hodgman can do about it.”
SATURDAY 22 FEBRUARY 2014
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