Lisa Chesters MP, Federal Member for Bendigo, today condemned the Abbott Liberal Government for again leaving Bendigo off the NBN rollout map released earlier this week.
Bendigo is not on the NBN rollout map just released by NBN Co and will be stuck with poor broadband quality and access until at least 2016.
“It is clear that the Abbott Coalition Government has no plan for Bendigo,” Ms Chesters said today.
That is despite Malcolm Turnbull promising that areas that had the poorest broadband like Bendigo would get the NBN first.
Last year in Bendigo Malcolm Turnbull said:
“The Coalition’s plans would be cheaper and faster to install by using fibre to the node technology rather than fibre to the premises.”
(Address to Bendigo Business Council forum held on March 26th 2013)
“I have to agree with the Minister that his plan for no NBN for Bendigo is cheaper than Labor’s comprehensive fibre to the premises NBN plan for Bendigo. The Minister is spending zero dollars on not rolling out the NBN to Bendigo homes and businesses”, Ms Chesters said.
“There is still no rollout schedule for bigger centres including Bendigo after the Abbott Government ripped up the former Labor Government’s roll-out plan.
“The uncertainty surrounding the NBN under the current government has meant NBN or ADSL developments in Bendigo have ceased and left many people without basic communications infrastructure throughout central Victoria.
“My office deals weekly with complaints from members of the community regarding lack of internet connection or mobile reception.
“It’s just not good enough that central Victoria is being left behind when it comes to technology”, Ms Chesters said.
Ms Chesters said the vast majority of people she has met with want the NBN.
“It is clear that people want to be connected to the National Broadband Network,” she said.
"Homes and businesses already connected to the NBN via fixed wireless towers in townships including Harcourt, Heathcote, Malmsbury and Tarnagulla are raving about what a difference the NBN it is making.
“So much of our lives are now online.
“Central Victorians are currently being held back by inferior internet connections and it will continue to get worse under the Abbott Liberal Government.
"Current telecommunication infrastructure in Bendigo and central Victoria does not meet today's needs let alone future needs.
The Abbott Liberal Government has also broken their promise that every Australian would have access to the NBN by 2016.”
Before the election Tony Abbott said:
“Under the Coalition, by 2016…there will be minimum download speeds of 25 megabits… We will deliver a minimum of 25 megabits…by the end of our first term.”
(Tony Abbott, Coalition Policy Launch, 9 April 2013)
The people of Bendigo and Central Victoria might not have liked the Coalition’s second rate NBN plan, also known as Fibre To The Node, but they were promised they would get it by 2016.
The Abbott Liberal Government won the election promising everyone would have the NBN by the next election. They lied.
According to the recently released rollout map, less than a half of all Australian households will have the NBN by the time of the next election.