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Posts Tagged ‘state’
Featured, News - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 13:24 - 31 Comments
The former Premier of Tasmania and one of the architects of the early National Broadband Network rollout in the state has slammed what he has described as “stupid, uninformed debate” from much of Australia’s media over what he saw as tiny issues in the rollout of the network over the past year.
David Bartlett is a former IT worker who served as the state’s Labor Premier from 2008 through to January this year, right through the period when the current NBN policy was developed and implementation commenced made the comments in a passionate speech to the CeBIT trade fair and conference series in Sydney this morning, in one of his first major speeches since quitting state parliament entirely several weeks ago.
The politician said he was concerned by the “constant attention” on issues such as NBN take-up rates in the early stage rollout Tasmanian towns of Smithton, Midway Point and Scottsdale, with the media reporting often that rates for the take-up of NBN services of 19 percent, or 50 percent for fibre infrastructure connections, weren’t enough.
To illustrate his view of this line of reporting, Bartlett told the audience that when the state constructed its first hydroelectric power plant in 1916, the state’s Premier at that stage, (believed to be Sir Walter Lee) gave “a fantastic speech” in support of the initiative, which Bartlett had personally memorised.
“At that time, when the first poles and wires were taking electrons across the wires to industry, do you think a sensible question from a journalist would have been that nobody has taken this up yet, so the project’s been a failure?” he asked. Bartlett pointed out that it took Tasmanian residents and businesses time to migrate off previous forms of energy such as gas and on to the new electricity standard. And yet, in 2011, he implied, electricity usage was universal.
“It would seem a fairly ignorant question in retrospect, and I would put the general media commentary about take-up rates in a similar basket in that respect,” he said.