ISLANDS MISS OUT ON NBN AND THE SHAPING SOUTH EAST QUEENSLAND DRAFT REPORT!
Our Bay Islands have received the ultimate slap in the face by the NBN Network and the Queensland Government’s Shaping SEQ Draft Report.
After indicating that NBN work would start on laying fibre on the islands this year, we have now been told that we are basically now at the bottom of the list.
And, Deputy Mayor Wendy Boglary and Cr Mark Edwards have revealed that the islands we reach, have been virtually ignored in the Shaping South East Queensland Draft Report.
It is a dead set smack in the mouth for our islands (see stories in this issue)
That means it could be 2020 before we get the NBN connected, the listed 'end date' for the entire project in Australia.
The Friendly Bay Islander has been pursuing this issue for some time.
We were told in 2015 that connection would occur on the islands in 2017 - this year.
We even heralded the possibility in our first editorial of the year in our January edition.
We were told in 2015 by then NBN spokesperson, Matt Horan: "the NBN is at least 18 months away from beginning construction on any of your islands."
Our Federal Member for Bowman, Andrew Laming, believed up until just days ago that connections to the NBN were to start this year.
He told us last week: "My NBN info map stated construction to commence across the Bay Islands by mid this year.
"That was from the 2015 three-year plan. Typically, switch-on is a year later (so it didn't refer to NBN being connected).
"That was current until last month when reporting was changed from build commencement to switch-on date and second, SMBI (just the four islands) slipped by one year.
"It is now 2018 build and 2019 switch on. I don’t have any other mainlamd updates but it doesn't appear other parts of Redlands have slipped," the Federal Member said.
That last sentence says it all.
No other areas appear to have been affected, just our Bay Islands.
As for Coochiemudlo and North Stradbroke Island, we couldn't get a reply from the NBN.
It would appear these island will be in the same category as the four Bay Islands - the Never Never plan!
The Friendly Bay Islander is not surprised at the latest delay and 'adjustment' that sees our island 'relegated' to the bottom of the list and the Queensland State Government doesn’t even rate us in Shaping SE Queensland!
When it comes to infrastructure spending and the like, our island group continues to miss out.
Whilst SE Queensland has had billions spent on it in the past 10 years, our islands have literally 'missed the boat’, and we are going to continue to be left ‘wondering’.
The one saving grace for the NBN technology could be that new wireless technology currently being tested by Telstra, could make it all obsolete in the near future with Billions being spent on what will be 'old technology'. Surprise, surprise!
From our islands' point of view, that could be a timely dose of 'poetic justice'.
And as for the SEQ Draft Report, let’s plan our own destiny and just, ‘do it’!