Cowper candidate calls Coalition NBN policy a "throw away"

COUNTRY Labor candidate for Cowper, Alfredo Navarro, has described the Coalition's plan for the National Broadband Network as "throw away policy."

"No thought, no clear vision, just a ticky tacky childhood jigsaw puzzle put together with tape," he said.

"Why should the people of Cowper have to put up with seconds?

"Copper is at its use-by date, plain and simple.

"Cost will fly out of control to maintain the tin can view of Mr Abbott's lack of knowledge in another area of vital infrastructure.

"On the other hand Labor's visionary broadband achievements ensure our nation not only keeps up but encourages the world to be economically involved in our country."

Nationals Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker last week praised the NBN policy announced by Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband Malcolm Turnbull as a "cost effective and appropriate response" to providing regional Australians with high speed broadband.

Naturally, Mr Navarro begs to differ.

"Frankly, it's ludicrous to push back a positive and quite bizarre to read the debate online where some still believe the nonsense the Nationals and their Coalition partners are saying to the people of Cowper.

"Shame Mr Abbott ... shame Mr Hartsuyker, to add this latest effort to 11 years of back water thinking."

And while some Coffs Coast locals continue to pour scorn on the Coalition policy, Shadow Minister Turnbull is being accused of making misleading statements on the NBN roll-out.

In an April 9 interview with Ray Hadley broadcast on radio stations 2CS-FM and 2MC-FM, Mr Turnbull made stunning claims about Australia-wide work targets and the number of premises being passed each day by NBN Co work teams.

"In the first 10 weeks of 2013, they in fact passed only 28 new premises each working day," he said.

"When we say they are missing their targets we're not being bitchy here.

"They're missing them by miles."

When asked for their opinion, a group of contractors working with a team installing broadband cable at Coffs Harbour Jetty were incensed by the statement and at a loss to explain how Mr Turnbull made that calculation.

An NBN Co spokesperson also expressed surprise.

"I have no idea where Mr Turnbull got that number or what evidence he used to make the calculation," she said.

"He would be well aware that the only relevant figures are when an area is made ready for the NBN, such as the most recent availability of 9000 services in the Armidale area.

"It is up to the end user when they actually switch on and he would be well aware of this."

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