with the Hon. Angus Taylor MP
26 February 2016
E & OE
So it’s great to be here in Goulburn with my good friend Mitch Fifield, the Minister for Communications amongst other things, who has of course responsibility for the NBN. And it’s extremely exciting for me and I know the people of Goulburn that we are moving forward now with the rollout of the NBN. We’re seeing the green fibre optic cable rolling out through the streets, new boxes being set up and we are within a short distance now of having the NBN connected up throughout Goulburn about eleven thousand premises so this is very, very exciting. This is a town and a region which needs good communications now, we’ve got lots of people and businesses that have moved out of Sydney and Canberra that need connection for their jobs and their businesses and for their families. So it’s extremely important now that we have good communications, good phone and good internet and that’s exactly what we’re getting with this NBN rollout due to the great work of Mitch Fifield who I’ll hand over to now.
It‘s great to be here with my good mate Angus Taylor and also Mayor Geoff Kettle to check out the progress of the rollout of the National Broadband Network which is just so important to regional areas. The NBN is on track nationwide about 1.7 million premises can have access to the NBN, there are about 820,000 people who’ve already connected nationwide. In the electorate of Hume, ultimately 45,000 people will be able to connect, about 6,000 have that opportunity at the moment and about 1,500 have already done so.
Today we’re checking on the progress here in Goulburn where about 11,000 premises will have that opportunity. The NBN under the approach that we’re taking would see nationwide rollout occur six to eight years earlier than would have been the case under the approach of our predecessors. So today is good news for this region. We know that people in the Goulburn and regional Australia are chomping at the bit to have access to the NBN, to the opportunities that we can deliver for households. But also importantly the opportunities that we can deliver for business. And I give credit to Angus Taylor who has been an absolute champion for this area to get the NBN as soon as it possibly can.
Look I just really, really want to thank the work of the Federal Government, particularly through Angus. Given that Goulburn was not meant to see NBN until I think, Angus you’ll correct me if I’m wrong, but later in 2017, going into 2018. What Angus has said is absolutely right, we are a large regional centre experiencing above average growth, we’ve got many businesses. Many people are moving here not only from Canberra and Sydney, but also other areas experiencing the real tree-change a lot of businesses coming here. In fact we’ve got some strong business investment and hopefully soon to say some strong Federal Government investment particularly in the areas of digital transformation which is one of Angus’ new portfolios. So to have the NBN here and the most modern and up to date communications via the World Wide Web is really, really good for us.
Angus, so Goulburn I understand is first area in Hume that will be connected to the NBN is that right?
Well it’s the first area that will have fibre to the node, we actually have a significant number of connections out in the western part of my electorate using fixed wireless, using the towers. And the performance there has been absolutely outstanding, really good feedback we’re getting from people who had struggled with internet connections for a long, long time so it’s great to see it now rolling out with fibre. Goulburn is the first area in the electorate and we were just talking about the northern part of the electorate getting the rollout starting over the next couple of weeks.
I was just about to ask, so what other areas, from now will be [Inaudible 1:52]
So the next area that is actually where the rollout is occurring is up in the northern part of my electorate which is around Picton, Bargo, Tahmoor up towards Camden and that rollout is getting started as we speak.
And you mentioned eleven thousand households will benefit from this?
Yeah, 11,000 premises in this area will benefit from it which is essentially the whole town. Of course there will be other alternatives around the edge of town but the fibre rollout is occurring in town around eleven thousand premises.
I suppose business will be the big winners out of this. How have they responded?
Well I think households and businesses, I mean more and more people work from home. There is a lot of small business people who work from home in Goulburn who might travel to Sydney or Canberra or elsewhere a day or two a week and want to work from home as well. So, a lot of very small businesses here that really benefit as well as households, and the critical thing for a regional centre like this, is to attract more people to come and live and work in such a great region, is to have good communications. These days without good communications people, will not come here and so this is absolutely critical for us to get this rollout happening quickly and that’s why we’ve pushed it so hard.
Obviously being out here with Angus, it’s great to see a local member really pushing hard for this as Jeff mentioned its coming earlier than we expected, how great is that?
Its fantastic for the local area, You can understand that people who live in regional areas want to have the sort of connectivity which people in metropolitan areas have often taken for granted. So it’s terrific news. Angus Taylor is a ceaseless advocate. And I find as a Minister, when Angus asks you to do something, you shouldn’t treat it as a request, you should treat it as an order. And just say ‘yes‘ because it will save time.
In terms of regional Australia how important and vital is the NBN?
It‘s really important. It‘s one of the reasons why we’ve been so keen to find a way to roll the NBN out faster than would otherwise have been the case. And we’re pursuing what’s called a multi-technology mix which means we choose the technology that will see the NBN deployed the fastest and at the lowest cost. Communities can only take advantage of the opportunities of the NBN if everyone has it, and so we want everybody to have it as soon as is possible.
Media contact: Justine Sywak | 0448 448 487 | Justine.Sywak@communications.gov.au