Rebuff on NBN

LIBERAL leader Will Hodgman's meeting with Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has failed to persuade the federal government to complete the NBN rollout using fibre optics.

It emerged yesterday that the real reason for Mr Hodgman's trip to Sydney in the middle of the state election campaign was to attend a Bruce Springsteen concert with his son on Wednesday night.

A Liberal Party spokesman said the concert ticket was a Christmas present for Mr Hodgman's son.

The state Liberals are lobbying the federal government to reverse NBN Co's decision to complete the rollout to 200,000 customers in Tasmania using a mix of fibre and copper.

Mr Turnbull yesterday appeared unmoved by Mr Hodgman's case for Tasmanians to get fibre to the premises, as originally planned.

``He has definitely drunk the fibre to the premises Kool-Aid, he is definitely committed to that,'' Mr Turnbull said.

It's not the first time that Mr Turnbull has used the phrase, telling an NBN supporter to ``lay off the Kool-Aid'' in 2011.

Premier Lara Giddings said Mr Turnbull's colourful comments ``openly mocked'' the state Liberal leader.

``Clearly Mr Hodgman's trip to Sydney achieved nothing, which is why he refused to front the media today,'' Ms Giddings said.

While Mr Hodgman was unavailable for comment yesterday, his spokesman said ``constructive discussions are ongoing''.

Earlier this week, Mr Hodgman let slip before a press conference that he thought the issue could cost the Liberals the election.

The state Liberals have thrown their support behind the state government's proposal to use Aurora power poles for a   cheaper and faster rollout.

However, Tasmania's three federal Liberal MHRs have not joined him in lobbying for that.

Mr Turnbull said Mr Hodgman understood that the federal government would do as much fibre to the premises as it could afford. He is still considering the proposal to use Aurora's power poles to deliver fibre to the home.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull


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