Victoria Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips
Broadband Plan Leaves Victoria Lagging Behind
Victor P Taffa
The Gillard Government has dudded Victoria in its construction plans for the next three-year rollout of the National Broadband Network.
Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips said Victoria had received less than 20 % of the program funding despite being home to a quarter of Australia’s population.
Mr. Rich-Phillips said although there had been a slight increase to Victoria, the rollout still clearly favoured the Labor-held states of South Australia, Tasmania and ACT.
“The Gillard Government is quite clearly funnelling money into these states to prop up struggling Labor administrations.” Mr. Rich-Phillips said.
“Although South Australia has just 7.3 % of national population, it is receiving 9.2 % of the funding. Tasmania, which represents just 2.3 % of population is receiving 5.9 % of the program funding.”
Mr. Rich-Phillips said the Federal Labor Government and NBN Co provided assurances last year that today’s rollout would deliver Victoria’s population share.
“I am disappointed NBN Co’s three-year rollout plan fails to deliver on this commitment.” Mr. Rich-Phillips said.
“With only 19.5 % of the premises in the total plan allocated to Victoria, our share of NBN construction activity is still too low given we represent a quarter of the national population.”
NBN Co’s three-year rollout plan for Victoria includes just 691,000 premises.
Mr. Rich-Phillips said that in order to reach 24.9 % of the total construction, the rollout plan should include an additional 191,000 premises representing around half a million Victorians.
“While I am pleased our calls for a greater level of regional and rural construction have been heard, I am concerned about the concentration of the rollout in a small number of regional centres.” Mr. Rich-Phillips said.
“Major regional centres such as Mildura, Warrnambool, Wangaratta and Bairnsdale have been overlooked as have many smaller communities with inadequate services.”
“The Coalition Government will continue to advocate for a better and fairer share of the NBN infrastructure for Victoria.” Mr. Rich-Phillips said.