Tuesday, 18 December 2018 05:18

Fifield hits back at Labor, says it is hung up on 'gestures' Featured

Fifield hits back at Labor, says it is hung up on 'gestures' Courtesy YouTube

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has reacted to Labor's claim that the government has no communications policy roadmap in place after more than two years of announcing it, by claiming that the Labor Party gets very hung up on documents and gestures, rather than delivery, in the communications portfolio.

Fifield told iTWire that while the Opposition had been "small-minded and petty, we have been getting on with delivery and doing the things Labor failed to do in office".

Labor Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland had taken a potshot at Fifield on Friday, questioning why the communication policy roadmap touted by the government in 2016 is still under development.

Rowland said a year prior, Labor had warned that communications policy was on a road to nowhere under the government because a policy roadmap, announced in 2016, had not been consulted on, or released, by late 2017. And, she added, "In late 2018, there’s still no sign of it."

Fifield pointed to the fact that the government had actually delivered the national broadband network and at $30 billion less cost and six to eight years sooner than Labor’s plan.

He said the government was rolling out a mobile black spot program that would address more than 5000 black spots and reforming Australia’s media laws to better support local media against global online giants.

"[We are] reforming copyright law to assist people with disabilities and educational institutions and better protecting Australia’s creative industries," Fifield said.

"[We are also] establishing the world’s first eSafety Commissioner and legislating take-down regimes and penalties for kids' cyber-bullying and image-based abuse [and] delivering real consumer benefits through the ACCC NBN speed monitoring regime and greater transparency in handling complaints through ACMA and a remorseless focus on improving NBN customer experience with retailers.

Additionally, he added, the government was laying the foundations for the rollout of 5G through early spectrum auction, reformed carrier powers and immunities and a cross-government/industry 5G working group.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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