We can't let Labor privatise our half-baked NBN says Oakeshott | Rob Oakeshott | Independent for Cowper

Independent candidate for Cowper, Rob Oakeshott, has called on the Labor Party to clarify what the word 'co-invest' means in their latest NBN policy, suggesting it smacks of an attempt to flog off and ‘privatise’ an NBN still littered with problems .


"Fixing the NBN is one of the key issues for Cowper in the coming election. While Coffs Harbour has fibre-to-the-premises, all other parts of the electorate have secondary options and are experiencing a range of problems and frustrations," said Mr Oakeshott.

“Users in our area are being down-graded to either fibre-to-the-curb, or fixed wireless in order to bump up the numbers on the NBN roll-out. This is nothing more than national politics played out at local expense. Towns like Bellingen have a very real digital divide, and people not too far out of Crescent Head are now on the lowest category of satellite.

"So imagine my surprise to see the word "co-invest" appear in Labor's 2019 policy. This is code for privatisation," Oakeshott said.

"It represents a stark departure from their original 2008 design. The plan was for the public sector to build the NBN and for privatisation only to be considered at the completion of the build.

First, the Liberal-National Party bowed to private interests and introduced the multi-technology disaster we are currently battling. Now it seems the Labor Party are following suit and trying to privatise any possible solutions," said Oakeshott.

If the NBN is to be privatised it should not happen until the mess is cleaned up. Indeed, there is an argument – supported by former CEO Mike Quigley – that the NBN, as an essential service, should remain in public hands.

"When national policy documents suggest the NBN is about to be flogged off to the highest bidder, candidates should be clear about what the increased local costs will be and if we will be saddled with local design problems for generations to come," Oakeshott said.

it is critical for small businesses and families on the Mid North Coast to know whether or not fibre-to-the-premises will be rolled out further in this region and whether privatisation of the overall asset will be prevented.

I stand to improve the NBN design and avoid future price rises."

For further details, please contact Deb Spillane

E: media@oakeshott.com.au

M: 0418 603513