A Victorian Liberal Government would work with the National Broadband Network and push for more funding, according to Shadow IT minister, Gordon Rich-Phillips.
“It appears that [the NBN] is going to proceed so we need to ensure that Victoria gets the best deal it can from the money that the Commonwealth is spending,” he said. “If the NBN opportunities are there we need to be aggressively pursing them.
“If Canberra wants to spend the money we’re happy to take it.”
The comments come despite Rich-Phillips’ comments made before the Federal elections, where he claimed uncertainty over the NBN was causing job losses and preventing people from getting Internet connections.
“The NBN has created a Labor Government monopoly on broadband – resulting in thousands of homes unable to get any ADSL with the NBN still being a distant dream,” he said at the time in a statement.
“Both the state and federal Labor governments have an awful track record when it comes to rolling out these billion dollar taxpayer funded IT projects and the NBN has the potential to be the mother of them all.”
Rich-Phillips claimed he did not want to weigh into the debate on whether the NBN was the best way forward, but he said high-speed broadband was a good thing for Victoria.
“I think the jury is still out as to whether the model we’re getting is the best we could’ve had,” he said. “But [suggesting changes to the NBN] is probably outside the scope of a Victorian Government.”
The Shadow Minister also said NBN Co opening its headquarters in Victoria did not automatically mean the state was getting its fair share despite Labor Governments at the State and Federal levels.
“We believe that... the political synergy at a Federal/State level has not assisted Victoria at all,” he said. “We would act in the State interest and not the Party interest so I’d like to think we could get better deals.”