Tuesday 23 June 2009
Legislative Council
Estimates Committee B  (David Bartlett)

Mr FINCH - This question too is probably going over ground that you have covered before about the National Broadband Network, but can you give Tasmanians in rural areas an assurance that they will have access to broadband when the national and other schemes are rolled out.

Mr BARTLETT - I can give you an assurance that at the completion of the rollout of the National Broadband Network in Tasmania a far greater proportion of Tasmanians will have access to the best broadband in the world than any other place on the planet.

Mr FINCH - That is a good assurance, because there are a lot of people in smaller rural communities particularly who are so disadvantaged at the moment.

Mr BARTLETT - Absolutely.  I have said it plenty of times, and I have been quoted plenty of times so the journalists in the room don't have to rewrite it, but I have said that I don't think Telstra has been a friend to Tasmania and that is not denigrating the people who work for Telstra in Tasmania because most of them are my friends - I used to work with them there.  They do a great job, but when the privatisation and the deregulation of telecommunications happened in Australia, it did not favour Tasmania.