Australians think Abbott will keep the NBN

Australians think Abbott will keep the NBN

Summary: The Australian opposition still has an election-winning lead over the government, but voters believe it will keep Labor's AU$37.4 billion NBN.


The federal opposition continues to command an election-winning lead over the government, but voters don't believe that it will repeal all the Labor policies it says it will, a new survey has found.

The latest weekly Essential Research online poll found that voting intentions have held steady on a two-party preferred basis, with the Coalition unchanged on 53 percent and Labor on 47 percent.

However, despite this apparent solid winning position for next year's federal election, 54 percent of voters expect that the Coalition probably won't repeal the National Broadband Network (NBN), compared with 18 percent, who expect that it will halt the project.

Respondents were also fairly evenly split over the minerals resource rent tax (MRRT), with one third expecting the opposition to repeal the impost, while 35 percent believe that it probably won't.

There was strong support for both the NBN and the MRRT — 69 percent and 63 percent, respectively.

The Coalition has said that it won't repeal the NBN if it wins government. Instead, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that he will likely see out the existing contracts that NBN Co has in place, and will reassess the rollout with a view to implementing a more cost-effective and faster rollout. While the full details of this are yet to be released, he has indicated that the fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) rollout would likely be scaled back to a fibre-to-the-node (FttN) rollout in many places.

The poll comes as Communications Minister Stephen Conroy yesterday defended NBN Co against accusations that it isn't properly consulting communities in Buninyong and Mt Helen in Ballarat over the construction of towers for fixed-wireless services on the NBN.

He said that NBN Co is complying with Victorian planning laws, and had lodged its development application for new towers with the Ballarat councils.

"I think if you look at those who have objected in the Ballarat region to NBN towers, I think you'll find they are opposed to all mobile phone towers," he said.

Conroy yesterday also confirmed that of the 30,000 active services on the NBN, 7,000 are on the fibre network, with the rest on fixed-wireless or NBN Co's interim satellite services. Conroy said that it was only the third or fourth time that opposition senators have asked him a question in Senate Question Time about the NBN in the last 12 months.

"I've had more questions about cuddling koalas, saving fish, and Tasmanian forests," he told the chamber.

Josh Taylor contributed to this article.

Topics: NBN, Government, Government AU, Australia

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  • A Sucker born every Minute

    Ideological fanaticism will not permit it.
    What we will get will be a pathetic half baked sop that will be a disaster in years to come. and will end up limited, expensive to everyone and a burden on the taxpayers for eternity.

    Read and weep, look at the similarities and also especially read all the comments
    Abel Adamski
  • Abbott is a fool

    This survey was taken before or after the Mad Monk siad he will "pause" aka stop/cancel the NBN?

    Anyone that believes this is way beyond saving and deserve the hell that will come about with a LNP coalition style NBN...

    How dumb are some people?
    • Dumb and Dumber

      A lot of people are influenced by the Murdoch Media and the Shock Jocks and Bolt's of the world.
      Abel Adamski
      • Not people

        I believe instead of calling them people they become sheeple and deserve everything they get, unfortunately for us that do vote for a brighter future if the LNP get in we will be in the exact same hell as we are in now.
    • Australians are sheep.

      Given the right pied piper, we'd jump into the water and drown.

      I'm hoping:
      A. LNP doesn't win.
      B. If LNP wins, there is enough political crap to delay them from interfering with the current rollout, and they give up trying to change it.
      C. If LNP interferes, RSPs and other vested companies cry out loud enough that they back down.
      D. If LNP interferes, enough community support is raised to make them reconsider and concentrate on something more important (like CO2 or immigration).
      • I'm hoping...

        I'm hoping that if the LNP gets in, the Productivity Commission states in no uncertain terms that its both cheaper AND more productive to keep the current plan, then have Abbott "reluctantly" keep the FttH plan.

        My hope levels arent that high though. I think he's dangerous to Australia, and this will be his signature mistake. The one chance for bipartisan development of key future infrastructure, and his aim is to simply undermine then destroy it on petty political grounds. I thought Politicians were meant to be there FOR the people, not to spite them.

        Not that I care for myself, I'm in the "commenced" stage :)
  • What is the real question?

    Perhaps the intention behind the responses is more along these lines:

    54 percent of people believe it wouldn't make any rational sense to halt the project and don't believe Malcolm's thoughts that FTTN will be any cheaper or faster and certainly won't be better.

    Unfortunately the only information we have to go on from the coalition is that Malcolm says stuff that isn't backed up by the morons in his party and what he does say isn't even a good idea when you look at it critically.
  • Que...??????

    Abbott will keep the NBN?

    As a swinging voter/NBN supporter - I don't think so... the NBN is visionary, sadly Tony isn't (maybe Malcolm is?) and Tony has clearly demonstrated this.

    Oh Tony is a very good opposition leader who can hone in on any issue no matter how insignificant and with his media mates, turn it into a H U G E issue... But PM, noooooooo....

    Which is why approx. 2/3 of Australian's disapprove of him. And when you consider the Coalition still has over 50% approval that means a whole lot of faithful Coalition supporters don't even like him.

    But I guess the ironic part, if he did keep the NBN (apart from him having said it will be scrapped for more roads - *sigh*) is, imagine all the little pawns faces - yes those who come here and to all the other blogs, to bag the NBN (using all the Coalitions rhetoric - cost, taxpayer, white elephant, etc) with absolutely no basis - when they hear their master has forsaken them... GOLD
    • I'm sure Abbott will keep the NBN if the coalition of clowns win the next election. They will of course make a complete mess of it and turn it into a FttN patchwork but at the end of the day they'll still call it "NBN". Mission accomplished. Abbott laughs at everyone who wanted FttP and everyone that voted lib/nat thinking they wouldn't change anything.

      I for one will look forward to this scenario if it eventuates, it'll be a mess from start to finish and once it's done it'll be hilarious when the suckers who fell for it realise that they'll be getting the speeds they get on FttN for a very long time.
      Hubert Cumberdale
      • Personally I'd rather the scenario where...

        ...regardless of what a small group of technological xenophobes thinks, FttH is deployed entirely as per the current NBN spec and serves generations of Australians for decades to come, paying itself off many times over and boosting the economy in ways that are simply not possible with our current infrastructure.

        That'd be sweet.
  • Lateline comments

    "The Opposition spokesman on Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, says that in government the coalition will continue the NBN in a reduced, privatised form rather than destroying it as previously promised."
    Mickey Mouse Network at the mercy of the investors dividend and ROI requirements, with massive taxpayer gifts and subsidies for eternity with FTTH available for the Nobility and Worthy only for a substantial payment to run FTTH ad hoc. A Status Symbol rather than essential National Infrastructure.

    Further Quotes
    "MALCOLM TURNBULL: For the bulk of the brown field built-up residential areas of Australia, what we will do is take the fibre further into the field, but not to the customer's premises.

    MATT PEACOCK: For those last metres to the home, the Coalition will negotiate to use Telstra's existing copper wire - unless you're rich enough to pay for more.

    MALCOLM TURNBULL: You can have a fibre service area of a couple of hundred households getting the fibre node connected to the copper, but there might be one person - perhaps it's a business - that needs to have very, very high speed connectivity, and you can selectively run fibre optic cable to that premise. Of course they'd have to pay more for it."

    Welcome to the Broadband Lottery for the peasants
    Abel Adamski
  • DON't DO IT

    We should as Australians not give the Mad Monk the opportunity the chance to do either. You may not like the ALP but they certainly are better than TA, MT and the rest of the LNP ilk.

    A vote for the ALP is a vote for the future re the NBN.

  • Oh, the uncertainty...

    Voting Tony Abbott in would be a disaster to the NBN. He's opposed the idea from the very beginning ("That's why I'm Opposition leader, isn't it? To oppose my opposition for the sake of opposition?") without putting forward reasonable, sensible alternatives that can definitely match Labor's FttP rollout.

    If the Liberals were to keep and continue the NBN rollout AS-IS (there are other policies that need work, but anyway), then I would not hesitate to change my vote. As it stands, the choices are between one idiot and another idiot.