Fiona Nash

Senator for New South Wales and Minister for Regional Communications, Regional Development & Rural Health
Last update: 10 May 2016

Subject: Telecommunications plan
Date: 31/03/2016 11:10 AM

Dear Minister,

I'm not impressed by your reaction to the plight of a regional Australian business:
Telecommunications will substantially influence my vote in the upcoming election.

The anticipated service life of optical fibre is a century or so. Diligent government will plan accordingly.

What is your party's hundred-year plan for Australia's telecommunications infrastructure? What is your vision for the network in ten, twenty and fifty years' time?

Subject: David Boxall response [DLM=For-Official-Use-Only]
From: "dispatching" <>
Date: 13/04/2016 9:14 AM

For Official Use Only

Dear Mr Boxall

Thank you for your recent correspondence to Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, the Minister for Regional Communications. Attached is a response from the Department of Communications and the Arts.

Please do not reply to this email. This address does not receive incoming emails.


Corporate Services Section
Department of Communications and the Arts
38 Sydney Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603
GPO Box 2154 Canberra ACT 2601


Comment: No vision beyond the immediate. At least the response goes outside the NBN.

Subject: Telecommunications
Date: 4/05/2016 11:22 AM

Dear Minister,

Thank you for your response dated 13 April 2016, via the Department of Communications and the Arts, to my enquiry of 31 March. Details are published online at

In principle, what is your stance on:

  1. Optical fibre to rural, regional and remote premises;
    [bearing in mind the durability of fibre, its unparalleled performance over distance and its low cost per unit of time over service life
  2. Mobile 'phone coverage over the vast majority of Australia's territorial land areas and;
  3. Resuming public ownership of telecommunications infrastructure?
    [a possible mechanism is outlined at

I've not been able to find reliable figures on geographic mobile 'phone coverage. From the available maps, it looks as though less than 5% of Australia's territorial land areas are covered. Can you confirm that?

Subject: Re: Telecommunications
Date: 10/05/2016 11:04 AM

Dear Minister,

When John Howard completed the privatisation of Telstra, while leaving the network under Telstra's ownership, he created a monster. The remedy lies in neutering that beast.

The broader issue is conflict of interest arising from association of a retailer of services with a wholesaler of such services and/or an owner of relevant infrastructure. One obvious remedy is legislation against such associations.

What is your stance on such legislation?

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