The National Party has been rolled by their Coalition partners on high speed, affordable broadband for regional Australia.
Instead of standing up for the bush, the Nationals have once again fallen into line with the Liberal Party.
In the past, the Nationals claimed to have two central principles on broadband – uniform pricing, and fibre to the home for the regions.
Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull’s plan will get rid of both.
In fact, just this morning, Malcolm Turnbull confirmed to Sky News that prices are likely to be lower in the cities than in the regions.
Less than two years ago, Barnaby Joyce told the Senate:
“The National Party believes in uniform pricing, absolutely.”
Senate Hansard, 25 August 2011
And Fiona Nash has this to say about fibre-to-the-node in 2007:
“[T]hey are either deluding themselves, and at the same time the Australian public, if they think a FTTN will deliver high-speed broadband to rural and regional areas, or they are being deliberately deceitful and are trying to trick the public into supporting a plan they know is flawed.”
Press release, 19 June 2007
As a political party formed over 120 years ago in western Queensland to represent regional workers and their communities, the Labor Party is not going to be lectured to by a National Party which always rolls over when the Liberals from Sydney’s North Shore tell them to.