The Government has failed to answer questions on community consultation for NBN towers in two regional Victorian communities during Senate Question Time today, the Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie said.
The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy was at a complete loss when questioned about proposed sites at Buninyong and Mt Helen in the Ballarat City Council.
Senator McKenzie said Senator Conroy could only refer to “saving fish” and “cuddly koalas”, rather than provide a reason for NBN Co.’s failed consultation process.
“Senator Conroy’s efforts to avoid answering the question confirm the government and NBN Co. have failed to consult with community members about the proposed locations of fixed wireless towers in Buninyong and Mt Helen.
“Senator Conroy’s suggestion the communities fighting the rollout of Labor’s National Broadband Network are against all forms of towers is incorrect, when a Buninyong resident has been quoted as saying ‘We’re happy to have towers, but we would prefer satellite technology.’
“Labor is not listening to regional communities, and doesn’t appear to be working towards a solution that supplies the NBN whilst meeting the needs of residents who have asked for an alternative method of delivery.”
Senator Stephen Conroy also failed to answer questions around a proposal for mono-towers in the La Trobe Valley.
“Senator Conroy used the Senate Estimates process to highlight NBN Co. and the government were consulting with community across Australia.
“It’s clear from today’s questions that is not the case and in failing to answer the questions highlighted Labor had failed regional Victorians and compared a reasonable request from communities to fish and koalas.”