I reckon the NBN might just win this election for Gillard.
There is a strong swell from younger people (and some old enough to know better) that if an ALP government will give them super high speed internet, that’s enough for them. Abbott is being positioned as a luddite. If you mention the $43 billion you get an answer like “no-one questioned the cost of the Snowy River Scheme”.
I gently pointed out to a friend living in the bush (sorry, rural and regional Australia) that whoever wins she will not get high speed internet in her lifetime. Though she is almost as skeptical about politicians as I am, she was willing to trust that promise.
The best discussion on the subject I have seen is Grahame Lynch in today’s Australian. But I don’t think anyone is listening – present company excluded, of course.
If this does win it for Gillard and my friend and others do not get fibre before the election after this, will they accept the promise again?
And by the way, anyone know about government accounting? How long can they keep the cost off-budget, on the basis that the business will eventually be sold? If it was a company, auditors would require some sort of impairment charge…