Doorstop – Labor will deliver fibre NBN to West Coast

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP

WEST COAST TASMANIA

WEDNESDAY, 27 APRIL 2016

SUBJECT/S: LABOR WILL DELIVER FIBRE NBN TO WEST COAST

JUSTINE KEAY, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR BRADDON: Thank you for coming to day, I am really pleased today to have Jason Clare, Labor’s Shadow Spokesperson for Communications here and I am joined also by Senator Anne Urquhart and the West Coast Mayor Phil Vickers for what is a very exciting announcement that will be a game changer for the West Coast. 

In August last year Malcolm Turnbull quite sneakily decided to change the West Coast’s NBN connectivity to the satellite service. Now the community has been outraged since that point to try and get a change to that. The local Member for Braddon here has completely ignored the calls from the community to make a change to their policy. It is absolutely disgraceful that he’s not willing to represent  their concerns in Canberra, but Labor has been listening. I will hand over to Jason to make the announcement – but what this means for the people of the West Coast, it will grow their economy, it will grow jobs, it will grow their population and enable them to access services, for health services and education in a way that they haven’t been able to before. I will hand over to Jason now. Thank you.

JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: Thanks very much Justine, our fantastic Candidate for the seat of Braddon who would be a fantastic Member of Parliament  if she’s got the honour to represent Braddon after the next election. It’s great to be hear also with Senator Anne Urquhart who has been a tireless advocate for a better NBN service for the West Coast of Tasmania and Phil Vickers the Mayor of the West Coast Council who has been a champion of this cause ever since the decision was made by Malcolm Turnbull last year to put the West Coast of Tasmania on the satellite service.

What I am announcing today is that if Labor is elected at the next election then we will reverse the sneaky decision that Malcolm Turnbull made late last year to take the West Coast of Tasmania off the fibre NBN rollout and put the West Coast instead on the satellite NBN.

At the last election both Labor and Liberal  promised they would build a fibre link to the West Coast of Tasmania. After the election Malcolm Turnbull broke that promise and understandably the people of the West Coast  are furious. I was in Queenstown only a month ago, we held a public meeting that was organised by Phil and the Council and it was the biggest public meeting I have ever been to in two and a half year  on the NBN. People were very angry, they said things that I can’t repeat on TV.  They were dirty that they were promised one thing and they’re being delivered something else. They feel like they have been duded and ripped off by Malcolm Turnbull and Brett Whiteley the local Member who hasn’t stood up for them.

So what I am announcing today is that if Labor is elected we will build a fibre link to the West Coast of Tasmania. We will rollout fibre-to-the-premises for Queenstown, as well as Rosebery and Zeehan. As well as that if we are elected we will work with the Tasmanian Government to get access to the TasNetwork fibre link to the West Coast to lease capacity on that network that will provide a backup service. So if one of the fibre links is cut then the West Coast of Tasmania won’t be cut off from the superfast broadband network. The total cost of this we estimate will be $29 million. That’s to build the fibre link, to lease the TasNetwork existing service as well as the access network that we will build on the West Coast of Tasmania.

This is going to be a game changer for the West Coast of Tasmania. It will create more jobs. Broadband creates jobs, superfast broadband creates more jobs. The West Coast of Tasmania already creates more than $370 million in economic value for Tasmania and Australia but it’s going through tough times at the moment. This will help to set the West Coast of Tasmania up for the future.  

I’ll hand over to Phil to say a few words.

PHIL VICKERS, WEST COAST MAYOR: Thanks Jason. Certainly a great announcement for the West Coast. It would be fair to say that the community was pretty well devastated when we found out we were only going to get the satellite service. We embarked on a community engagement program mid last year, 2025 it’s called and the broadband services, NBN services featured highly in that plan. It’s something the community needs. It will just give us that edge to be able to regrow our community over the next few years. We are excited.

KEAY: Thanks everyone.

WEDNESDAY, 27 APRIL 2016

MEDIA CONTACT:  ANDY BYRNE (CLARE) 02 9790 2466