I’ll put it upfront: I’m really keen for the NBN. I think it is a great investment and it will help Australia stay competitive for the rest of this century. And Tony Abbott’s plan to stop the whole thing will just disadvantage those communities who haven’t been connected.
The Southern Highlands will probably be one of those communities. None of NBNCo’s forward plans have any of the Highlands covered. NSW towns where construction has just started include Berala, Boambee East, Coffs Harbour, Lalor Park, Regents Park, Sawtell and Toormina. Much of the Illawarra, including Dapto, Wollongong, and Kiama have also been included in the rollout. And sure, Wollongong is a decent sized city that probably needs some new advantages as manufacturing continues to fall over. But the Highlands is getting nothing. We are a safe Liberal zone (even though most of the towns are presently tucked into the seat of Throsby, presently held by Labor’s Stephen Jones), but I’m sure that’s all just coincidental.
Here’s a neat little postcode finder if you’d like to try it yourself. The results I got searching for 2575 (Mittagong and the Northern Villages), 2576 (Bowral and surrounds), 2577 (Berrima, Moss Vale and some Southern Villages) and 2578 were: “We have not commenced work on the NBN in your area just yet.”*
*The only exception is the housing development Renwick near Mittagong, which was marked ‘work commenced’.