Oh dear: What colour should Tassie’s NBN cables be?


All of Australia’s political parties have a bright, vivid colour associated with them — it’s like painting with your hands in pre-school. Labor is red — representing its roots in the working community and the socialist movement. Liberal is blue, representing its conservative and liberal background. And of course, the Greens are green, representing their focus on the environment.

Normally these colours are brought out during election times, or perhaps highlighted by virtue of their proponent’s dress sense. But during an estimates committee hearing in Tasmania last week, Tasmanian Greens Leader Nick McKim — also a minister in his own right as part of the joint Greens/Labor government — applied for the colour green to be applied in an unorthodox sense.

In the committee, Liberal MP Michael Ferguson pointed out that something like 200km of optic fibre cables would be rolled out around Tasmania as part of the first stage of the National Broadband Network rollout.

“Now do not laugh,” he said. “It is all black. It comes in two colours: black or black.”

“Have you considered the visual amenity of that fibre on communities? And I say do not laugh because I would have thought given the scale of the rollout there might be a good opportunity for you as the leader of our community to seek a visual outcome that might be better than black?”

Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett replied: What colour would you like it to be?”

“Green,” said McKim.

“Nick would like green,” confirmed Ferguson.

“I am nothing if not consistent,” McKim added.

In response, Bartlett pointed out that the NBN cables would only be one more cable strung alongside powerlines — usually four or eight in a batch.

“I am not sure what would be a more attractive colour than black,” the Premier said.

Oh dear.

Image credit: Bob Smith, royalty free


    • I think most people agree they should be underground, although personally I don’t mind seeing them in the cityscape … but then again the forest of cables in Japan doesn’t bother me like it does some people ;)

  1. I know what would be more attractive – BURY THE CABLE!!!

    Must be nice to live in Tasmania, the land of milk and honey (paid for by NSW) and your MPs biggest issue is what colour the cables will be for your entirely susidised fibre optic network.

  2. Black will make them blend with the the others over my back fence. ACT calls that “back plane reticulation”.

    Which the greens may decry, because it also means you can’t grow big trees in the back of the yard.

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