25 August 2015
Malcolm Turnbull snuck into Newcastle this morning and dodged the questions our community has been asking him for months.
Last time Mr Turnbull was in Newcastle, he said that most people will have access to the National Broadband Network (NBN) by 2016 with speeds up 50Mbps or better (i).
Yet data released last week reveals that nobody in Newcastle will access to a service by 2016. And for most people when they do get access, it will be to Mr Turnbull’s slower, less-reliable Fibre-to-the-Node NBN that might deliver speeds of around 25Mbps – nowhere near the 50Mbs promised.
Not only are Australians getting a slower NBN, it is also rolling out slower than promised and it is going to cost a lot more than the Government said it would.
Novocastrians are entitled to ask Mr Turnbull, when will the NBN actually be coming and what speeds will we eventually have access to?
In addition, the residents of Fern Bay suffer from some of the worst mobile phone reception in the country. Yet I was told that they are not eligible for Mr Turnbull’s Mobile Black Spot Programme because Fern Bay is considered too urban.
Residents want to know, what solution Mr Turnbull has for their lack of mobile coverage? Numerous written requests to the Minister have gone unanswered and he has again failed to meet with residents today.
Rather than bring his “A-Game” and provide answers to the Newcastle community, he brought his “Blame-Game”
He blamed Labor for the cost blowout of his NBN plans. The cost of the Abbott Government’s second rate NBN started out at $29.5 billion in April 2013, blew out to $41 billion in December 2013, increased again to $42 billion in August 2014 and yesterday it was announced that it will now cost up to $56 billion.
Finally, Mr Turnbull blamed ABC management for cutting a third of the workforce from 1233 ABC Newcastle. Despite his government breaking a promise not to cut the ABC and instead slashed more than $100 million from its budget.
Instead of shifting blame to others, Malcolm Turnbull should own up to the broken promises and deliver honest answers to the Newcastle community.
It is the least we deserve.