Transcript – ABC Breakfast

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
TELEVISION INTERVIEW
ABC BREAKFAST
MONDAY, 13 JUNE 2016
SUBJECT/S: Labor’s plan to build the National Broadband Network that Australia needs to create the jobs of the future
MICHAEL ROWLAND: Labor will today unveil a key plank in its election strategy. Its policy on the NBN. Joining us from Sydney is Party’s communications spokesman Jason Clare, good morning to you.

JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: Good morning Michael.

ROWLAND: We’ll get to the NBN in a moment. Firstly your thoughts on the horrible events in Florida overnight?

CLARE: It’s almost impossible to find words to describe how awful that massacre is. Fifty people have lost their lives at the hands of a fanatic, a murderer, somebody inspired by hate. And I think all Australians who reflect on what’s happened in Australia in years gone by will be extraordinarily saddened by that. We also need to remind ourselves that we can’t be naive and assume that just because we’re in Australia that this can’t happen here. We don’t have the same gun laws, the same access to high grade military weapons that you find in the United States, but we shouldn’t assume that just because of that, that something like that can’t happen here in Australia as well.

ROWLAND: Is that a worry? President Obama has called it an act of terror, the investigations are leading to the view that he was a lone wolf terrorist. As a former Justice Minister in the former Labor Government, how concerned, how vigilant are authorities about the prospects of that happening here? We of course all saw what happened at the Lindt Cafe siege in Sydney.

CLARE: I think it’s prudent to wait and see what the FBI and police investigations show. But law enforcement authorities will always tell you that the thing they fear most is a lone wolf or lone gunman. It means they’re not able to track or trace communication because the person makes the decision themselves without talking to others. So it’s much, much harder to intercept and stop.

ROWLAND: Let’s switch to the big ticket NBN policy, you and the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will be announcing today. How does it differ to the Coalition’s policy?

CLARE: Well what we’re announcing today Michael is that if we’re elected on 2 July we will roll out fibre-to-the-home, fibre-to-the-business, to up to two million more premises as part of building the NBN. We will be able to do that for the same taxpayer contribution of $29.5 billion and also as part of that, we expect that the time it will take to build the NBN is the same under our model as Malcolm Turnbull’s slower copper version of the NBN.

ROWLAND: But at the same time, you will see the current roll out of that copper version continue?

CLARE: We’ve got to phase that out. There’s about a million homes where construction of this copper version of the NBN is happening right now. We can’t just click our fingers if we win the election and stop all of that without having a number of unintended consequences, so we phase that out and ask NBN to return and scale up the roll out of fibre-to-the-premises, which is the sort of technology you see in Japan or South Korea or Singapore, even New Zealand.

New Zealand has the copper version of the NBN that Malcolm Turnbull’s building right now but instead of thinking that that’s enough, they’re now rolling out fibre-to-the-premises. You see the same thing in the United States. AT&T a decade ago rolled out fibre-to-the-node. Their customers are telling them it’s not good enough and so they’re now going back and rolling out fibre-to-the-premise. We have to do the same thing here in Australia.

ROWLAND: People who have the copper version will have the ability to switch to fibre if Labor’s elected?

CLARE: As part of the policy that we are announcing today, we’ll also announce that the independent body Infrastructure Australia, will be tasked to provide a report to us about how and when we upgrade those areas as well. Because just as New Zealand is doing this and America and other parts of the world, the fact is this is going to have to happen here in Australia as well. Fibre to the node is not going to be good enough long term to meet the needs of Australian businesses and Australian households.

ROWLAND: NBN’s corporate plan for 2016 notes that if everybody got fibre-to-the-premises it would cost up to $84 billion and take as long as 12 years, is that the timeframe you are looking at?

CLARE: No, and let’s be very careful about that statement by NBN Co. What they’ve admitted in evidence in estimates is that that’s an analysis of starting to build Labor’s version of the NBN, which is fibre to 93 percent of the country. Then stopping for 3 years and building Malcolm Turnbull’s copper version and then starting up again. I’ve made it very, very clear that we can’t just click our fingers the day after the election and rip out all the nodes that Malcolm Turnbull has built but we can roll out more fibre where he hasn’t started yet and that means up to two million homes and businesses will get fibre instead of copper and that will almost double the number of homes and businesses in Australia that will get the real NBN.

ROWLAND: Labor had a target of 93 percent of all homes and businesses getting fibre, is that still your target?

CLARE: No, what this policy allows us to do is get fibre to homes and businesses to 39 percent of Australian premises and as I said, Infrastructure Australia will give us a report on how we can finish the job in other parts of Australia.

ROWLAND: And you are imposing this cap of $57 billion, it won’t cost a cent more for taxpayers?

CLARE: Michael the $57 billion is made up of public investment, taxpayer investment of $29.5 billion as well as private sector debt or private sector investment as well. The Government has set a cap for their copper version of the NBN at $56 billion. What we’re saying very clearly today is we’re setting a cap of $57 billion for the project.

ROWLAND: And that’s it, no more money spent on the NBN?

CLARE: That is to build the initial version of the NBN and we’ve made that very, very clear today and that takes priority over all of the other commitments that are part of this policy.

ROWLAND: Jason Clare, thank you very much for your time this morning.

CLARE: Thanks, Michael.

 

 

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TELEVISION INTERVIEW

ABC BREAKFAST

MONDAY, 13 JUNE 2016

SUBJECT/S: Labor’s plan to build the National Broadband Network that Australia needs to create the jobs of the future

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Labor will today unveil a key plank in its election strategy. Its policy on the NBN. Joining us from Sydney is Party’s communications spokesman Jason Clare, good morning to you.

 

JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: Good morning Michael.

 

ROWLAND:We’ll get to the NBN in a moment. Firstly your thoughts on the horrible events in Florida overnight?

 

CLARE: It’s almost impossible to find words to describe how awful that massacre is. Fifty people have lost their lives at the hands of a fanatic, a murderer, somebody inspired by hate. And I think all Australians who reflect on what’s happened in Australia in years gone by will be extraordinarily saddened by that. We also need to remind ourselves that we can’t be naive and assume that just because we’re in Australia that this can’t happen here. We don’t have the same gun laws, the same access to high grade military weapons that you find in the United States, but we shouldn’t assume that just because of that, that something like that can’t happen here in Australia as well.

 

ROWLAND: Is that a worry? President Obama has called it an act of terror, the investigations are leading to the view that he was a lone wolf terrorist. As a former Justice Minister in the former Labor Government, how concerned, how vigilant are authorities about the prospects of that happening here? We of course all saw what happened at the Lindt Cafe siege in Sydney.

 

CLARE: I think it’s prudent to wait and see what the FBI and police investigations show. But law enforcement authorities will always tell you that the thing they fear most is a lone wolf or lone gunman. It means they’re not able to track or trace communication because the person makes the decision themselves without talking to others. So it’s much, much harder to intercept and stop.

 

ROWLAND: Let’s switch to the big ticket NBN policy, you and the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will be announcing today. How does it differ to the Coalition’s policy?

 

CLARE: Well what we’re announcing today Michael is that if we’re elected on 2 July we will roll out fibre-to-the-home, fibre-to-the-business, to up to two million more premises as part of building the NBN. We will be able to do that for the same taxpayer contribution of $29.5 billion and also as part of that, we expect that the time it will take to build the NBN is the same under our model as Malcolm Turnbull’s slower copper version of the NBN.

 

ROWLAND: But at the same time, you will see the current roll out of that copper version continue?

 

CLARE: We’ve got to phase that out. There’s about a million homes where construction of this copper version of the NBN is happening right now. We can’t just click our fingers if we win the election and stop all of that without having a number of unintended consequences, so we phase that out and ask NBN to return and scale up the roll out of fibre-to-the-premises, which is the sort of technology you see in Japan or South Korea or Singapore, even New Zealand.

 

New Zealand has the copper version of the NBN that Malcolm Turnbull’s building right now but instead of thinking that that’s enough, they’re now rolling out fibre-to-the-premises. You see the same thing in the United States. AT&T a decade ago rolled out fibre-to-the-node. Their customers are telling them it’s not good enough and so they’re now going back and rolling out fibre-to-the-premise. We have to do the same thing here in Australia.

 

ROWLAND: People who have the copper version will have the ability to switch to fibre if Labor’s elected?

 

CLARE: As part of the policy that we are announcing today, we’ll also announce that the independent body Infrastructure Australia, will be tasked to provide a report to us about how and when we upgrade those areas as well. Because just as New Zealand is doing this and America and other parts of the world, the fact is this is going to have to happen here in Australia as well. Fibre to the node is not going to be good enough long term to meet the needs of Australian businesses and Australian households.

 

ROWLAND: NBN’s corporate plan for 2016 notes that if everybody got fibre-to-the-premises it would cost up to $84 billion and take as long as 12 years, is that the timeframe you are looking at?

 

CLARE: No, and let’s be very careful about that statement by NBN Co. What they’ve admitted in evidence in estimates is that that’s an analysis of starting to build Labor’s version of the NBN, which is fibre to 93 percent of the country. Then stopping for 3 years and building Malcolm Turnbull’s copper version and then starting up again. I’ve made it very, very clear that we can’t just click our fingers the day after the election and rip out all the nodes that Malcolm Turnbull has built but we can roll out more fibre where he hasn’t started yet and that means up to two million homes and businesses will get fibre instead of copper and that will almost double the number of homes and businesses in Australia that will get the real NBN.

 

ROWLAND: Labor had a target of 93 percent of all homes and businesses getting fibre, is that still your target?

 

CLARE: No, what this policy allows us to do is get fibre to homes and businesses to 39 percent of Australian premises and as I said, Infrastructure Australia will give us a report on how we can finish the job in other parts of Australia.

 

ROWLAND: And you are imposing this cap of $57 billion, it won’t cost a cent more for taxpayers?

 

CLARE: Michael the $57 billion is made up of public investment, taxpayer investment of $29.5 billion as well as private sector debt or private sector investment as well. The Government has set a cap for their copper version of the NBN at $56 billion. What we’re saying very clearly today is we’re setting a cap of $57 billion for the project.

 

ROWLAND: And that’s it, no more money spent on the NBN?

 

CLARE: That is to build the initial version of the NBN and we’ve made that very, very clear today and that takes priority over all of the other commitments that are part of this policy.

 

ROWLAND: Jason Clare, thank you very much for your time this morning.

 

CLARE: Thanks, Michael.