GLADSTONE residents will be fitted with a faster and more affordable broadband network, providing they vote Labor in next year's federal election.
That's what communications minister Stephen Conroy has advised voters, amid recent claims by the Coalition only key Labor electorates in Queensland will be fitted with the National Broadband Network before the end of 2013.
On Thursday a spokesperson for Mr Conroy said Gladstone would receive a connection to the $36 billion network in due time, despite being pipped at the post by neighbouring regional centres Rockhampton and Bundaberg to receive a rollout in the next three years.
"Let's be clear, only Labor is building the NBN so all Australian's can access faster and more affordable broadband," the spokesperson said.
"Gladstone residents will benefit from this world class technology under Labor, but if the Coalition is elected the NBN will be demolished and our nation's economy will be held back for decades."
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said engineering, not politics, was behind the planned rollout in Queensland.
"The NBN is going to be rolled out right round the country, but it's got to build out rationally from Telstra exchanges and connection points," Ms Gillard said.
NBN Co, the company building the broadband network, said appropriate infrastructure was required in regional centres for the rollout to begin.
"We have to plan on the basis of the availability of infrastructure from Telstra - the exchanges and dark fibre links that allow us to build our fibre nodes and connect them to the Points of Interconnect."
Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull did not respond to calls from The Observer, but told a press conference it was a "remarkable coincidence" non-Labor seats were overlooked in stage one of the rollout.
"The reality is Labor is most vulnerable to a big swing in the federal election in Queensland," Mr Turnbull said.
The Government has pointed out that it is also rolling out the NBN in several Coalition seats outside of Brisbane.