MEDIA RELEASE - Shorten stumbles on Labor’s flaky NBN promise > Mitch Fifield, Liberal Senator for Victoria


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Senator The Hon Mitch Fifield

MEDIA RELEASE - Shorten stumbles on Labor’s flaky NBN promise

9 March 2015

Bill Shorten stumbled to explain Labor’s flaky NBN promise today in Gosford.

When asked what Labor’s “more fibre” promise meant, he replied My view about the best technology is we get the best technology in the world and we do it right the first time.”


Let’s assess Labor’s “first time” managing the NBN:


·         Under Labor, NBN Co missed every single rollout target.

·         By the end of the Labor government (in 2013) the NBN was one million premises short of its 2010 rollout forecast.

·         After three years of construction work, the rollout was already two years behind.

·         Labor spent $6 billion to reach less than 3% of premises.


In comparison, nbn has connected more than 50,000 users in the last six weeks. It took Labor three years to connect 51,000 premises (2010-2013). As of 3 March 2016 there have been 1.86 million premises passed by the nbn and more than 851,000 active connections.


Labor needs to release its NBN policy and reveal what its flaky “more fibre” promise actually means and costs.

Based on the nbn Corporate Plan, reverting to an all-fibre build to completion would cost around $30 billion more and take six to eight years longer than the current nbn rollout.

Labor’s flaky “more fibre” promise led to the following Australian Financial Review editorial on 15 October 2015:

“A lack of detail bedevilled the NBN under Labor. The fact the party doesn’t want to give any details about its new plan – or more accurately, a reinstatement of the old NBN – or talk about the cost, makes this policy look like the last – an expensive joke.”


After two years in Opposition, Bill Shorten clearly hasn’t learnt any lessons from his time as a Minister in the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Government.

nbn’s weekly rollout report is available on the nbn website here