When Libs came to power in 1996, less than half Australians were online, and then only on dialup (how did we cope?!). By the time they left, in 2007, most Australians had broadband. This was achieved not by Liberals themselves, but by private industry (though helped along by continued government de-regulation)
The repeated assertions – particularly by those too young to know what the hell they’re talking about – that market forces have failed; that private industry can’t deliver; that “things will go backward under the Liberals” is not only demonstrably false, but astoundingly ignorant.
Labor’s proposed NBN, at $43b, works out at around $5,000 per household. And that’s assuming it, unlike other ALP programmes, comes in on budget (and actually works). Furthermore, the centralisation of this network in government hands undermines the de-regulation – begun under Keating – which helped services advance to their present level (do you think we’d have what we have now if Telstra hadn’t been privatised, and still had a complete monopoly?!)
The Liberal plan still spends too much – but at least it attempts to encourage investment, competition and innovation in the private sector. I expect tech to be far superior in 10 years than to what it is today, regardless of who gets power… but if there is any policy that is “backward looking” – and going back to the bad old days of one (government-run) supplier with no competition – then it is that of the ALP.