Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Australia - Opposition leader in Tasmania supports plans of both govt and his own party

[abc] The Tasmanian Liberals say it will be up to voters to decide whether the Federal Opposition's alternative national broadband policy is a good one.

The Coalition would scrap Labor's 43 billion dollar NBN if it wins the election and instead spend just over $6 billion to encourage the private sector to extend broadband services.

The fibre optic cable that has already been rolled out in Tasmania would be sold off under the Coalition's plan.

The State Liberal Leader Will Hodgman has previously stated his support for Labor's NBN.

Now he says he likes both options.

"I support the fact that we have two strong commitments to improve broadband connectivity here in Tasmania," Mr Hodgman said.

"I think that's a positive thing.

"Now it's a question for Tasmanians how they vote in 10 days time, it's a question for Tasmanians to make their own assessments, the fact that we now have broadband in Tasmania on the drawing board, two policies there, is a positive thing."

Mr Hodgman is leaving it up to the Coalition to sell the merits of its new policy.

"I don't think my federal colleagues are going to be desperately hingeing on my response to their policies," he said.

The Premier David Bartlett says he has done the maths and the Federal Opposition's policy is not good.

"If you boil it all down it amounts to less than a billion dollars going into regional telecommunications over the next eight years in Australia," the Premier said.

Will Hodgman says both policies improve internet services for Tasmanians.

Tas Libs' two bob each way on rival NBN plans

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