Minister praises the Illawarra for its NBN leadership, updates the region on the NBN rollout

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today visited Wollongong with the Federal Member for Cunningham, Ms Sharon Bird, to praise local leaders for their support of the National Broadband Network rollout and provide an update on the NBN rollout.

“It’s always great to be in Wollongong to discuss the NBN with the area’s local leaders. This is one part of Australia that fully understands the potential of the NBN and what it can do for their communities in education, health and small business,” Senator Conroy said.

“The rollout is well underway in Wollongong, as well as other areas of the Illawarra, with construction to commence or be complete for 20,871 homes and businesses by the end of the year.

“The region is embracing the NBN’s affordable, reliable and superfast broadband, with the people of Kiama taking up NBN services at the highest rate in Australia.”

Speaking at a Regional Leaders Summit in Wollongong, Senator Conroy said the Illawarra is taking the steps necessary to realise the potential of the NBN’s super-fast broadband.

“Kiama Municipal Council is already using the NBN to provide services more efficiently to local residents, while the RDA Illawarra and the University of Wollongong are also providing the leadership and the skills required to make the area a centre for high-tech industry.”

Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird MP, said, “The NBN rollout is well underway in Cunningham and continues to ramp up, with work commenced for 6,100 homes and businesses in Wollongong. We expect people living in this area will be able to connect to the NBN within about 12 months.

“By 2015, construction will have commenced or be completed for 139,100 premises in the Illawarra and in surrounding towns and cities, including Thirroul, Bulli and Balgownie.

“The only threat to the continued rollout of the NBN is Tony Abbott and the Coalition. Tony Abbott calls the NBN unnecessary and has said he would eliminate it if he was elected.

“The choice for locals is clear: support the Gillard Government and you will get the NBN; support Tony Abbott and you won’t.”