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Statement by Andrew Woodward

11 June 2018

Bellingen Broadband Bungle – the government must explain the delay

The delivery of fast and reliable internet to Bellingen has suffered another blow with the government delaying the roll-out of the NBN in Bellingen township by a further six months.

Under this government, the NBN has become the no broadband network. There’s been no communication from the government or NBN Co about this six-month delay.

We need to know what has caused this delay. Why no one was told about it and what’s their level of confidence that they will now deliver by Christmas.

In March this year, the NBN rollout map showed that Bellingen would be connected with fibre-to-the-curb between April 2018 and June 2018. It is now June 2018 and their rollout map shows October to December.

No explanation, no detail, no respect. We deserve better.

Where else in Cowper has been pushed back? Are there delays longer than six months? We need answers.

And the government is keeping up with its farcical roll out in Bellingen where a dozen streets in the north-west and central southern parts of the township have been blacklisted for fibre-to-the-curb.

They’ve been told they will have to put up with sub-standard Fixed Wireless. The government recently announced it was abandoning plans to increase the maximum speed on Fixed Wireless to 100 Mbps (up from 50 Mbps).

Residents in the blacklisted streets will be stuck with a sub-standard service, potentially impacting their home businesses and property prices. The government can fix this with the stroke of a pen and should do it today.

Labor is committed to delivering fire-to-the-curb where it remains feasible.

This government just can’t get things done on time or correctly. There’s a nine to 12-month delay completing the Pacific Highway upgrade between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour. The eight-kilometre section at Warrell Creek remains a construction site.

Further north, work won’t start on the Coffs Harbour Bypass until the second half of 2020 and not be complete until 2024 or 2025 if the government’s form in delivering projects is anything to go by. The Coffs Harbour Bypass should have been ready to go from next financial year which starts in just a few weeks.

The National Party is great at being press release and selfie ready. We need them to be shovel ready and to start and finish things on time. The bungling has to stop.


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