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Underground power, not NBN: Qld LNP

Queensland's opposition has said that the National Broadband Network needs to be re-evaluated, with consideration given to whether the money could be better spent on putting power cables underground in cyclone-prone areas.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor

Queensland's opposition has said that the National Broadband Network needs to be re-evaluated, with consideration given to whether the money could be better spent on putting power cables underground in cyclone-prone areas.

"The impact of Cyclone Yasi was devastating right across North and Far North Queensland, with more than 180,000 people left without power initially," LNP Leader John-Paul Langbroek said in a statement.

"The existing overhead system is not just vulnerable during cyclones, it is vulnerable to summer storms and high winds, and maintenance costs would be reduced through an undergrounding program as well."

He said that his party had been calling for the Labor Government to start laying power lines underground seven years ago.

"It has long been the LNP's position that a 20- to 25-year program to underground power lines in cyclone areas should be adopted, but the State Labor Government has just attacked us whenever we raise the idea."

He claimed that a lot of the $500 million bill from the latest cyclone would come from fixing electricity infrastructure.

"Labor is preparing to spend billions of dollars on a broadband network, but steadfastly refuses to consider a long-term program to underground power lines in cyclone areas.

Langbroek said that he was getting feedback from Queenslanders that they'd rather have reliable power than broadband.

"You can't use broadband if you don't have power."

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