Abbott is a Luddite, says Conroy


Communications Minister Stephen Conroy this afternoon opened fire on Tony Abbott, labelling him a “luddite” for not having appearing to have anything to do with his party’s technology policies, on a day in which the Canberra press gallery also criticised the Opposition Leader on the issue.

Abbott did not mention his party’s broadband policy or Australia’s technology sector in general during the Coalition’s wide-ranging election campaign launch on Sunday, and this morning’s Coalition broadband policy launch was conducted by Shadow Communications Minister Tony Smith and Finance Spokesperson Andrew Robb.

In addition, Abbott has seldom commented on the Coalition’s attitude towards Labor’s controversial filter policy, leaving it to Smith, Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey and Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull to detail the Coalition’s decision last week to vote against the project.

In a press conference today, Conroy said Abbott had had his chance on Sunday to outline his views for Australia — but “never talked about broadband” or technology in general.

“The man is a luddite,” he said

Journalists at the Coalition’s press conference this morning also questioned Abbott’s absence. “Why isn’t Tony Abbott announcing this today?” asked one. And another questioned: “Why couldn’t you fly to Sydney and make this announcement, is the leader not across the detail of this?”

Robb said Abbott had to be in Sydney today to hold a press conference with the Opposition’s immigration spokesperson, Scott Morrison, who had just returned from a brief visit to the island to discuss striking a deal on detention centres.

“The boat people — it’s a huge issue for so many Australians,” Robb said.

Conroy demanded that Abbott explain the Coalition’s policy to regional Australia. The $6 billion rival broadband policy to Labor’s National Broadband Network project features a competitive backhaul network, regional and metropolitan wireless networks and an ADSL enrichment program that will target telephone exchanges without ADSL2+ broadband.

“Tony Abbott has to explain to those thousand towns why he’s locking them into a second-rate broadband network,” Conroy said, referring to rural areas who would receive fibre under Labor’s NBN plan. “The rest of the world is going fibre. The Coalition’s policy is fibre-free.”

Image credit: Liberal Party of Australia


  1. As the broadband non-interview on 7.30 Report displayed, Tony Abbott doesn’t care where Australia can be. He just wants it back where it was. “Turn back the boats”? Turn back the clock.

    Since so much of Abbott’s plans for a future Australia seem to hinge on what will be of advantage to his daughters – paid parental leave becoming legitimate, indeed essential, “visionary” (I wonder what premonitions he’s had here?), as his daughters enter the age of fecundity – perhaps he should talk with one of them about modern technology. Maybe the one who reckons it’s “gonna be awesome living in Kirribilli House”. She seems to have the vocabulary and social priorities of a modern girl.

  2. I wonder if , or how much, Tony Abbott actually uses a computer. And I wonder if he appreciates the advantage of fibre cable, as opposed to copper wire.
    Australia cannot afford a so called “leader” who really IS a “luddite”, and who wants to take us back to the good ole’ days of John Howard’s Australia; when the boat people were not the only ones straying and staying away from Australia.

  3. I see Abbott’s computer use is questioned yet pics of Gillards abode do not even show a toaster.

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