Gladstone waits ten years for NBN

“IT will be ten years before Gladstone is on the National Broad Band (NBN) roll-out,” according to the Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited (GAPDL).

“There are those that want to fight the NBN and say why waste $40 billion when money should be spent on the roads,” GAPDL chief Glen Churchill told The Observer.

“That is a debate already had in Canberra.

"The NBN has been legislated and it’s already being rolled-out but Gladstone is going to have to wait ten years until the benefits are felt in Gladstone,” Mr Churchill said.

“If we do nothing we will go backwards.”

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is an Australian Government initiative to deliver much faster broadband to all Australians with projected current investment estimated at more than $43 billion over eight years.

Major expected benefits include health and education where people living in regional, rural and remote areas will have improved access to specialists and doctors and students, no matter where they live, will have opportunities to expand their learning through access to education and research with material transmitted in real time.

In January, Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd called on the Australian Prime Minister to abandon the $40 billion NBN in favour of building a flood proof road and rail system as well as providing more aid to farmers and small business.

“The national highway must be totally flood proofed.

"An alternate flood-proof highway system must be started in Queensland so that the State is never again isolated by the failure of the National Highway to carry freight and services to Queenslanders,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“Rebuilding our road and rail networks and flood proofing them would in my opinion provide a much better return on $40billion than the NBN.”

Mr Churchill said at the end of the day whether you agree or disagree or have any other alternatives or concerns this is a debate that needs to be had if Gladstone wants to move into the 21st century.

“The GAPDL is hosting an information session on the digital economy today at the Grand Hotel where people can have the opportunity to influence the Queensland Government to add Gladstone on the initial NBN roll-out list.”

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