[tentblogger-youtube ZnmfRUkvMCU] Member for Perth and Parliamentary Secretary for Western Australia Alannah MacTiernan has spoken out in Parliament this week about the Federal Government’s rollout of the National Broadband Network in Geraldton.
Alannah said the City of Greater Geraldton has been annexed into what she calls “Turnbullistan” – an attack at Communications Minster Malcolm Turnbull.
“Diversions of Turnbullistan continue to the detriment of Western Australia. Recently, Turnbullistan Senator Dean Smith claimed credit for the 5,000 premises passed by the NBN in the beautiful coastal city of Geraldton between September 2013 and January 2014,” she said in Parliament.
“Thousands of households in Geraldton will now not be able to take part in the digital future that the City of Geraldton has worked so hard to carve out.
“Geraldton is only one of two cities in Australia that has qualified for IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge and the City has done an extraordinary job.
“The needs of the world has changed, unfortunately that seems to have escaped the Emperor of Turnbullistan.”
Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price has hit back at Alannah, claiming it was an attack on the Abbott Goverments’s rollout of the NBN.
“The Member for metropolitan Perth has no interest in helping the people of Geraldton or the rest of regional Western Australia; she just wants to use them as a political football,” Melissa said.
“What a lot of people do not realise, is that under Labor, work in Geraldton had come to a grinding halt – Syntheo had walked away from the project months before the Federal Election in 2013.
“As Geraldton residents would know from the many times I have updated them on the NBN - our Government is working to resolve the many issues caused by Labor’s failed attempt to rollout this service, while ensuring it continues in a timely and cost-effective manner. In fact, our rollout will save Australian taxpayers $29 billion.
“In Geraldton specifically, we have continued to progress with design work while we look to negotiate new contracts to build the network. We are hopeful these will be signed in coming months.”
Everything Geraldton spoke to Alannah today and said Melissa didn’t have a full understanding of her role in Parliament.
“I am shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Western Australia, so I have a role in representing all communities in WA,” she said.
“I was surprised by the snippy comments of the Member for Durack - I would have thought she would be aware of my role.”
Alannah expressed her long-standing history with Geraldton and said that “newcomer” Melissa probably wasn’t aware of Alannah’s close affiliation with the Mid West region.
“I’ve had a long involvement and interest in Geraldton. I worked there in the late 70s. More significantly as Minister for Planning and Infrastructure between 2001 and 2008, I delivered key projects for Geraldton which unleashed much of the potential of the region including the deepening of the port, the realignment of the rail link off the foreshore, the Southern Transport Corridor, both Stages 1 and 2, and the Town Beach Upgrade.”
Alannah said the information that Minister Turnbull is suppressing is that new techniques are now seeing fibre to the premises becoming much cheaper and quicker.
“My aim is to put the pressure on the Minister to deliver this 21st Century solution to the people of Geraldton,” she said.
“The Minister and the Member for Durack clearly are not facing up to the reality that our copper network is nothing like that of the United States. On Telstra’s own admission, the network is on its last legs and in most areas will not be capable of delivery even with the modest speeds being promised by Mr Turnbull.
“The Minister should acknowledge that he had nothing to do with the successful rollout of NBN to 5,700 premises in Geraldton in the six months up to January 2014 – this was all pursuant to contracts led under Labor and proof that as the rollout to the premises really has gotten underway, it has become cheaper and quicker.”