Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP, said the joke was on Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, if he thought Bendigo would fall for his April Fools NBN plan which she said was a half-baked version of the roll-out map Labor released two years ago.
“I appreciate it’s April Fools’ Day but I don’t see how Malcolm Turnbull can keep a straight face when he’s talking up a plan for the National Broadband Network (NBN) that’s going to give Bendigo residents half the network coverage they would have had under Labor’s proposed scheme, and two years later.
“Mr Turnbull’s proposal is a poor imitation of the plan Labor released two years ago - he is talking about fibre-to-the-node whereas Labor had a vision that would connect the NBN to people’s homes.
“Under the Federal Liberal Government’s proposal, households and businesses could be stung for thousands just to connect to the NBN,” said Ms Chesters.
Today's announcement also confirms that Bendigo will not receive the same NBN infrastructure as Ballarat where fibre to the premises continues to be rolled out to homes and businesses.
"It's just not fair that Bendigo households and businesses will have to not only wait longer but will have to pay more to receive the same NBN infrastructure and service as Ballarat," said Ms Chesters.
Ms Chesters said Central Victorians were currently being held back by inferior internet connections and that following today’s announcement it looked set to get worse under the Federal Liberal Government.
“The uncertainty of the current government on the NBN has meant any developments of the NBN or ADSL have ceased and left many people without basic communications infrastructure around central Victoria.
“My office deals daily with complaints from members of the community regarding lack of internet connection or mobile reception. So much of our lives are now online and it’s just not good enough that Bendigo is being left behind when it comes to technology.
"I call on the Minister and Liberal Government to return to the original NBN rollout plan and that is fibre to the premises with construction and installation starting yesterday,” said Ms Chesters.