Of all of the promises broken by this government, the big game they talked on the National Broadband Network before they came into government is right up there.
Let us have a look at this government's statements in July 2013, nearly two years ago. It said:
Our goal is for every household and business to have access to broadband with a download data rate of between 25 and 100 megabits per second by late 2016.
That promise did not even see the end of 2013 before it was abandoned. The second part of this promise said:
Suburbs, regions, towns and business districts with the poorest services and greatest need for upgrades will receive first priority.
Let us have a look at some areas which do not have proper internet access in my area. Overall fixed broadband availability in suburbs like Glenwood, Acacia Gardens and Stanhope Gardens—what is available? Fibre-to-the-premises availability: not available. This is from the NBN's own website. HFC availability: not available. Fibre-to-the-node availability: not available. Overall fixed broadband quality: E, the worst category possible. And yet these are parts of the suburbs which have been taken off the map by this government. I am not surprised therefore that my constituents time and again raise this with me as the single biggest issue. Why can't they have access to the National Broadband Network—particularly as these suburbs were in whole or in part on the last rollout maps under Labor, but which were taken off by this government? I will just give you a couple of examples. This is one from Andy in Glenwood, who said:
For school kids, a lot of school works needed to be completed online. Internet speed is vital!! I cannot stress it enough how NBN is so important for Glenwood residents. I have been waiting for it since it was first announced.
And it goes on. Suraj from Kellyville Ridge says, 'Can't wait for the day when NBN will be introduced in Kellyville Ridge'. We have Jake Allen from Acacia Gardens, who says:
My name is Jake and I was a first time voter this year and I voted for Labor—
it must have been in the state election—
because I believe they know what is best for the community. I ask that you help the community of Acacia Gardens who are currently being left with a huge limited access to Internet.
You do not even have to take it from these few constituents; you can see it on the front page of my local paper. We have resident Peter Allsopp talking about how the only availability he has is literally through dongle access. This article goes on:
Before last year's election, then opposition spokesman and now Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull promised everyone would have access to the NBN by the end of 2016.
As I said, it was one of their first promises to break. It goes on:
Because they live in a blackspot, the only technology option accessible to the Allsopps is Wi-Fi.
It takes a fortnight for them to reach the 25-gigabyte monthly limit for which they're on a contract.
And it quotes Mr Allsopp, who said:
We don't even have a tablet because we don't have the facilities to use it. We don't live 400 kilometres out in the bush. We live in the middle of Sydney and we don't have access to broadband.
The final sentence of this article says it all:
Mr Turnbull's office was contacted for a comment, but did not respond.
It goes on and on and on from my constituents. For example, Monir in Glenwood said:
I am writing about the need of better broadband in Glenwood area … I wish we could haver fast internet to catch up with today's need for this services.
And it goes on. Craig writes:
… I have spoken to you before about the nbn in my area … is there any time frame as to when it will reach us is there anything we can do.
We are being left behind and the future does not look bright for us.
I can say to Craig and many of these other residents: unfortunately, time and again when I have placed questions about your specific suburbs on the Notice Paper, what I have received back from this minister is just a rant. Just a nonsense rant. He has no time for these real consumers who have actual concerns about the lack of proper broadband access.
But I must say the minister's tone in some of these responses has changed somewhat. Now I just get a few lines saying, 'Oh, that's up to NBN Co when they're going to get it.' Absolutely no assurances whatsoever. This minister promised that areas of need would be prioritised. These are areas of need: Acacia Gardens, Glenwood, Stanhope Gardens, Kellyville Ridge. This government talked a big game when it was in opposition but it has delivered nothing for these residents. I call on this government to keep at least partly true to its promises in this area and deliver the NBN to these residents.