Macarthur Electorate: Broadband

15 June 2021

Eight hundred and fifty-six thousand years—that's roughly how long it would take the average Australian to amass $57 billion. Assuming work life is around 49 years, it would take 17,400 lifetimes for the average Australian worker to amass the wealth needed to establish our National Broadband Network.


The Liberal and National parties like to profess to be sound economic managers, but in reality we know that's not the case. If they can throw away $57 billion on a second-rate NBN, can we really trust their judgement?


In recent months, I undertook a survey of Macarthur residents to hear firsthand their opinions of the service they were receiving through the NBN. The results were absolutely staggering. The rollout of the NBN was really shambolic in Macarthur, to say the least. Even now, there are some families who cannot get an adequate NBN connection. When asked to rate their NBN speeds on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, 22 per cent rated their NBN connection as a 1.


Thirty per cent of Macarthur residents who responded to my survey identified that they experience lagging or dropouts in their internet connection every day. A number of other residents identified that they experienced these shortfalls even more frequently than once a day, but 30 per cent saying it's effectively a given when they hop online is nothing short of an indictment of a very poor service.


Macarthur residents are rightfully dismayed with the coalition government and their claims of perfection when nothing is further from the case. Eighty-nine per cent have stated that their internet connection does not meet their expectations of what a first-class NBN should be. Eighty-nine per cent think the coalition has failed to provide our communities with critical communications infrastructure, even more important now that many people are working from home.


When I asked if local residents think that the coalition's delivered value for money, 90 per cent said no. Macarthur residents are rightfully concerned that the second-rate copper NBN is almost $30 billion over budget yet only provides a second-rate service. Much like the botched vaccine rollout, the NBN is something that is far from perfect and something that could have been done much better.


Macarthur residents are being dudded by this government. I now frequently have to call the government to account for lack of infrastructure, the poor NBN and the poor vaccine rollout, and I'm very angry that almost 70 per cent of our residents are still experiencing a very poor NBN service in this technological age.


Those opposite have been peddling mistruths for years and years, and we have very little to show for their mistruths.