Newly appointed Shadow Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has experience in the dial-up business, not the broadband industry, according to Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy.
Former Shadow Communications Minister, Tony Smith, became the party’s parliamentary secretary. Smith was criticised for his lack of knowledge on broadband during his short tenure as Shadow Communications Minister.
Abbott has built up Turnbull’s credibility in the industry by highlighting his experience as chair of ISP, OzEmail, from 1994 to 1999 and tasked him to destroy the Labor Government’s NBN plans.
But Senator Conroy has dismissed Turnbull’s credentials as outdated as he held the position before broadband was a mainstream service. “Let’s not overcook this cake here,” he said to the ABC. “Turnbull was chairperson as a merchant banker of a dial-up company, so he was involved in a dial-up company.”
Senator Conroy also addressed the decision to favour regional areas when rolling out the NBN as requested by Independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor. The pair sided with Labor to give the party an opportunity to form a minority Government.
“There is no question that if you started 100 per cent in the capital cities you would get a faster revenue stream, but that would be unfair and inequitable," he said.
"We reject this concept that metro Australia deserves to have better broadband than regional and rural Australia."