Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon has accused the Prime Minister of having ‘callous disregard’ for the women and children who rely on the services of a Newcastle-based community organisation after he refused to answer questions about the massive NBN issues they are facing.
Ms Claydon said she used Parliamentary Question Time to ask the Prime Minister about the problems Family Support Newcastle – which provide support to families, children and women facing domestic violence – have had in connecting to the NBN.
“Family Support Newcastle has been trying to connect to the NBN since May – often going without phone and internet for days or weeks at a time,” Ms Claydon said.
“In a week where the parliament recognised White Ribbon Day and the terrible scourge of domestic and family violence, the Prime Minister’s refusal to even discuss Family Support Newcastle’s problems shows grave disregard for the families, women and children that rely on these services.”
Ms Claydon said the Prime Minister refused to answer her question, preferring to flick it to his Minister.
“When I raised this case directly with the Prime Minister in Question Time, he didn’t even bother answering the question, instead blithely pointing at the Minister to speak on his behalf.
“Normally, when these sorts of issues are raised, the Government would offer assurances that the matter will be thoroughly looked into. Newcastle Family Support got nothing of the sort.”
Ms Claydon said the Minister’s entire response consisted of ‘inane and inaccurate babbling about what Labor did in Government’.
“The Minister had three goes at answering my question about the diabolical problems Family Support Newcastle have been facing connecting to the NBN, and yet he failed to even utter their name once,” Ms Claydon said.
“The Minister and the Prime Minister have got to start taking responsibility for their appalling second-rate NBN built on last century’s copper, which is creating a myriad of terrible issues.”