Speech on poor quality broadband in parts of Isaacs

Parliament House, Canberra.

Mr DREYFUS (Isaacs—Deputy Manager of Opposition Business) (10:42):  I have campaigned for many years on the poor quality of broadband in many parts of the great electorate of Isaacs. I have written to the Minister for Communications, Senator Fifield, and to the previous Minister for Communications, who is now the Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull, on many occasions about the delayed and downgraded NBN in my electorate but I have only received letters of response that are full of vagaries and bluff rather than any coherent plan. I would like to recount just a couple of the stories that I have been told by constituents of mine and by constituents in the neighbouring electorate of Dunkley, where many local residents have felt so let down by the government on the NBN that they have bypassed their local Liberal member and contacted me. I wish that I had good news for them.

I was recently contacted by a group of residents in Keys Road, Keysborough. These residents live in homes that were marked for the NBN but then disappeared off the NBN rollout map. Their download speeds are as low as three megabytes per second, and that makes it impossible to conduct business online or for school age residents of the street to properly study. I wrote again to Senator Fifield on behalf of these residents but received the usual nonresponse that demonstrated just how little this government cares about or even understands the need for high-speed broadband.

Another nearby resident contacted me recently. He lives just outside my electorate, in the seat of Dunkley, and he had read in the local paper, the Frankston Times, that the NBN rollout to his home is now delayed until 2019. This Dunkley resident recalled how in 2013 then communications minister Mr Turnbull said that every house in Australia would have access to a world-class NBN by 2016, and then, that promise broken, the Prime Minister came to Dunkley in 2015 to announce that all premises in Dunkley would be connected by 2017.

The resident rightly said: if this government broke its promises about him getting access to the NBN by 2016 and by 2017, why should he believe them when they say 2019? You simply cannot trust the Turnbull government when it comes to the NBN.

This government has downgraded and delayed the NBN again and again. They have overseen Australia's internet speeds dropping from 30th in the world to 60th. They just do not get it. To the students in Aspendale Gardens who cannot get decent enough broadband speeds to study, to businesses in Braeside and Carrum Downs who are struggling to compete without the promised NBN, and to my constituents who have been ripped off and lied to by this government again and again, I say that I get it and Labor gets it: Isaacs needs a world-class NBN, not a delayed copper 'fraudband'.