Transcript - radio interview - 2CC Breakfast with Stephen Cenatiempo

STEPHEN CENATIEMPO, HOST: Time to catch up with the Member for Eden-Monaro, Kristy McBain. Good morning, Kristy.

KRISTY MCBAIN, MINISTER: Hello. How are you?

STEPHEN CENATIEMPO: Very well. Were you a school teacher in a former life?

KRISTY MCBAIN: No, I was not.

STEPHEN CENATIEMPO: Because I was watching you present to a bunch of school kids at Parliament House the other day and I thought you had a real school teacher vibe about you.

KRISTY MCBAIN: Well, it is funny. I used to have to walk past the Early Childhood Learning Building at the University of Canberra and at one stage I thought to myself, I'm going to switch careers. But my sister, who had two young kids at the time, said, maybe not Kristy.

STEPHEN CENATIEMPO: Aunty Kristy's not cut out for this.

KRISTY MCBAIN: That's what she said.

STEPHEN CENATIEMPO: Now tell us about the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program. There's been an extension to that and we've now got some timeframes.

KRISTY MCBAIN: That's right. A number of local councils have been talking to us about the cost escalation for those projects going up because of supply chain issues. The tight time frames basically meant they just didn't have the time or the money to make sure they could finish them. We've extended out those time frames to the 30th of June 2024, which will give them more time to be able to deal with some of those supply chain issues and smooth out that infrastructure pipeline, so that they can bring those projects in on budget.

STEPHEN CENATIEMPO: So, are we talking about projects that are shovel ready or are they in the planning stages? Where are they at?

KRISTY MCBAIN: Most of the projects are shovel ready, it's just that they can't actually get contractors on site in a lot of circumstances, or they're waiting on bits and pieces of the project to come in from overseas. We need to make sure that we're helping them to deliver those projects for us.

STEPHEN CENATIEMPO: Well, the latest NBN fixed wireless upgrades are going to be available to homes across this region soon. So, explain to us the difference between fixed wireless and normal broadband or normal NBN, so to speak.

KRISTY MCBAIN: There's three modes of NBN connectivity. We've obviously got the Fibre to the Node or Fibre to the Premises, depending on where you are and when that rollout happened. Then we've got the fixed wireless, which is a different capacity. It allows you to connect via a wireless modem. We’ve also got the satellite broadband. With fixed wireless we know a number of premises are already on, but we're making sure that more people can connect. There's now an additional 24,000 homes and businesses that will be able to connect to fixed wireless under our expansion of that program.

STEPHEN CENATIEMPO: So, what sort of areas are we talking about here? Because fixed wireless is for areas that can't actually get the fibre optic cable near enough to the premises, is that right?

KRISTY MCBAIN: There are a huge number of locations across the country, but some of the ones in Eden-Monaro include places like Khancoban, Batlow, parts of Yass, Nimmitabel, Numeralla, and Adaminaby. There's a lot of different communities across Eden-Monaro that will now be able to have access to that upgrade, which is a fantastic outcome.

STEPHEN CENATIEMPO: Okay, Kristy. Always appreciate your time. We'll catch up again soon.

KRISTY MCBAIN: Lovely to chat to you. Talk to you soon.

STEPHEN CENATIEMPO: All the best. Kristy McBain is the Member for Eden-Monaro.