AUDIT OFFICE COMMENCE INVESTIGATION OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT GRANTS PROGRAM

Labor welcomes the announcement by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) to investigate the Coalition’s Community Development Grants program. Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Stephen Jones MP, said the Coalition had allocated nearly $1 billion with next to no transparency. “Successive Minsters for Regional Development have used the Community Development Grants as a slush fund for using millions of dollars of public money for their own political purposes. Continue reading

TURNBULL GOVERNMENT IN CHAOS

Local Federal MPs, Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones, slammed Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals for the chaos and madness that they have created in the Federal Parliament by cancelling the second last week of sittings of the House of Representatives. Sharon Bird said the Turnbull Government was running scared and Malcolm Turnbull was too afraid to face the Parliament and debate important issues such as marriage equality, penalty rates, a banking royal commission and citizenship. Continue reading

TURNBULL’S NBN FAILED BUNDABERG COMMUNITY

Labor’s Stephen Jones and Leanne Donaldson said Turnbull’s second-rate copper NBN had failed the Bundaberg community. Visiting Bundaberg today, Shadow Minister for Regional Communications, Stephen Jones MP, said Turnbull’s poor technology choices – switching from fibre to copper – was a disaster throughout regional Australia. “Bundaberg was one of the first sites in Queensland to have copper-NBN switched on,” Mr Jones said Continue reading

RESIGNATION OF GRAHAME GOULD (LIFELINE)

Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones today recognised the huge contribution Grahame Gould has made to the community in the Illawarra during his 24 years as Executive Director of Lifeline South Coast. Grahame has always been a leading voice on mental health issues and suicide prevention in the Illawarra.  He has always provided great local input on policy issues and was instrumental in ensuring that Lifeline services were available to people in the Illawarra during their times of need. Continue reading

TAMWORTH TO SUFFER UNDER JOYCE’S COPPER NBN

Labor’s Stephen Jones and David Ewings said Tamworth would suffer under Barnaby Joyce’s failed copper-NBN. Shadow Minister for Regional Communications, Stephen Jones MP, said the Coalition’s poor technology choices had been an absolute disaster for regional Australia.  “In New England, the Coalition was supporting the digital divide with Armidale, Tenterfield and many northern towns receiving superior fibre NBN whereas Tamworth’s 19,000 premises would receive second-rate copper. Continue reading

NBN MUST ACT ON LISMORE CBD ROLLOUT

Labor is calling on NBN to stop the delay and work constructively with Lismore City Council, business and residents on the Lismore CBD rollout. Lismore City Council has, for months, sought vital information from NBN about its planned rollout and how Council and NBN can work together to ensure the best outcomes for the local community. Council has done the right thing. It’s identified opportunities to work with NBN to offer positive improvements to the project, reduce costs and minimise disruption to business. That’s exactly what you want to see from local Councils.  Continue reading

TURNBULL’S NBN FAILING SHOALHAVEN COMMUNITY

Shoalhaven residents and business have delivered a damning verdict on Turnbull’s second-rate NBN following systemic issues of poor speed, faults, failed connections and outages. Labor’s Stephen Jones and Fiona Phillips said the response from locals at a community forum was crystal clear. “Residents and business want a reliable service,” Mr Jones said “What we heard was ongoing issues where people were experiencing problems and being caught in the NBN ping-pong between the NBN and their Retail Service Provider. Continue reading

COMPENSATION OF 42,000 NBN CUSTOMERS IS ONLY THE TIP OF THE COPPER ICEBERG

Labor welcomes steps by Telstra to compensate 42,000 consumers who have been sold a speed which Turnbull’s copper NBN cannot support. “Today’s developments are a stunning rebuke to the second-rate technology decisions Turnbull has imposed on the nation,” Ms Rowland said. “The copper NBN has been exposed as a dud."  “It’s a tragedy that Turnbull is spending $50 billion of taxpayers’ money on a second-rate network that is denying consumers the speeds they are willing to pay for,” Mr Jones said. The figures released by the ACCC paint a shocking picture — 56 per cent of consumers who had been sold a 100 Mbps plan were on a copper connection that was not fit for purpose. Continue reading

LABOR WELCOMES ACCC REVIEW INTO NBN WHOLESALE SERVICE LEVELS

Labor welcomes moves by the ACCC to review wholesale service levels on the NBN. This inquiry comes after repeated calls by Labor and the NBN Joint Standing Committee to strengthen wholesale service levels. The move to examine wholesale service levels exposes the Government’s desperate attempts to create distractions and blame retailers for every issue. Over five years the Turnbull Government has approached consumer protection as a spectators sport. This lack of commitment has unnecessarily delayed outcomes for consumers. Continue reading

STATE GOVERNMENTS FED UP WITH MOBILE BLACK SPOT RORT

The Victorian Government’s decision announced today to co-invest in 25 new mobile base stations across Victoria is further evidence of a crisis of confidence in the Commonwealth program. The Coalition’s Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP) has failed to deliver on its stated policy objectives and has instead been used for political reasons by the Liberal and National parties. State Governments are clearly fed up with the lack of a fair or evidence-based approach to the funding of mobile black spots, an area which has traditionally seen cooperation between Federal, State and private operators. Continue reading