Hodgman, Turnbull in NBN talks

TASMANIAN Liberal Leader Will Hodgman yesterday made a brief visit to Sydney to lobby Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the future of the NBN rollout, as the federal issue continues to dominate the state election. 

The state Liberals are backing a proposal to deliver fibre to the home using Aurora power poles after NBN Co revealed last week some Tasmanian homes and businesses would be connected to fast broadband using existing copper, rather than fibre.

Mr Turnbull and NBN Co executive chairman Ziggy Switkowski are still considering the alternative Aurora proposal. 

Mr Hodgman's flying visit comes after he was caught on camera saying the issue could cost the Liberals the election. 

A spokesman for Mr Turnbull described yesterday afternoon's meeting with Mr Hodgman as ``constructive'', but it remains unclear whether a decision will be made before Tasmanians go to the polls on March 15. 

Mr Hodgman said he would not provide a running commentary of his discussions with Mr Turnbull and the federal government.

``I am in constant conversation and discussions with the federal government in a sensible way about delivering the best outcomes and I would hope that would be sooner rather than later,'' Mr Hodgman said. 

Meanwhile, the three major parties were spruiking their ICT policies yesterday. 

Establishing a Tier 3 data centre in Tasmania is the centrepiece of the Liberals policy unveiled yesterday. 

``We have the ideal cool climate for it, stable geology, renewable energy and a strong tertiary education sector,'' Liberal technology spokesman Michael Ferguson said. 

The Liberals would also aim to move whole-of-government data to the Tasmanian Cloud - secure, on-island data centres. 

The Greens announced they would invest $500,000 to market Tasmania as a renewable energy data storage option.   

``Tasmania can be tapping into the growing market for carbon-neutral data storage, by hosting data here in Tasmania using 100 per cent renewable electricity,'' Greens leader Nick McKim said. 

Premier Lara Giddings yesterday officially opened Aurora's $8.5 million data centre in the state's south. 

Labor has promised to provide WiFi in 50 regional areas in Tasmania at a cost of $500,000.

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