The Tasmanian Premier and Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology, David Bartlett, has called on the State Opposition to educate Federal Liberal members on the benefits of the National Broadband Network (NBN) and to refute claims made by Shadow Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.
The call follows the State Opposition’s move to support the Tasmanian Government’s decision to legislate an ‘opt-out’ model for new connections to the NBN, meaning all households would automatically be connected to the network.
“We’re planning to legislate for an ‘opt-out’ model to maximise those once-in-a-generation opportunities for all Tasmanians – in business, in health, in education,” Bartlett said in a statement.
The Premier’s office has refuted a number of Turnbull’s claims, denying residents will have their front garden ‘dug up’ or that there will be extra costs to householders and businesses to get the optic fibre connection or to ‘opt-out’.
“In reality - except for some isolated properties, where owners may wish to opt-out instead of pursuing alternative connection - the fibre is simply attached to the outside of a building,” a statement from the office read.
The office also denied Turnbull’s claim that the ‘opt-out’ model would make connecting to optic fibre “virtually compulsory”.
According to Bartlett, it is important that all Tasmanian politicians unite behind the state’s interests.
“In the spirit of co-operative politics, and for the good of all Tasmanians, I’d urge the State Liberals to pick up the phone to their Federal counterparts, and help educate them about the NBN’s importance to Tasmanians,” Bartlett said in a statement.
“We all need to help combat Mr Turnbull and Mr Abbott’s approach directly, for the sake of Tasmanian jobs, health and education in the years and decades to come,” he said.