blog It seems Liberal MPs all around Australia just can’t stop demanding that the National Broadband Network be rolled out in their area. The Federal Member for Farrer in rural NSW/Victoria, Sussan Ley, is the latest to come to the party.
“Our biggest complaint with the Government on this is that every citizen should be able to go in to a website that’s run by the NBN, click on their location and find out when they can expect the NBN to come to their area … It is great that the backhaul network, the fibre-optic cable is built between Mildura and Broken Hill and I would have thought that that would allow an accelerated delivery for the NBN but unfortunately we are getting no indication that that is the case.”
As I wrote about the Coalition Victorian Government’s similar love/hate approach to the NBN, Ley’s words simply beggar belief. The MP is surely aware that it is not Coalition policy to support the NBN — and she gives lip service to this in the article, referring to the fact that the NBN fibre could be ‘outdated’ by the time it hits her electorate. But her far greater issue appears to be that it could take a while for the infrastructure to arrive there.
From where I’m standing, the Coalition’s messaging on the NBN is a real problem right now for it. The lack of a coherent, nationally agreed upon NBN policy of its own (Malcolm Turnbull’s half-baked attempts notwithstanding) has left the Coalition’s backbenchers without a consistent message to take to their constituents on the issue. The result has been that many MPs have started to revert to their default positions on any issue — representing those constituents’ issues.
And, it appears, the default constituent view on the NBN, especially in rural areas, is: “When can I get it? Can I get it soon? Can it be accelerated?” Funny, that.