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O'Connor: Broadband Decision A Betrayal For Rural New Zealand

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Damien O'Connor
Damien O'Connor

2 July 2009 - The National Government's decision to subsidise fast broadband to the cities to while leaving rural New Zealanders to rely on the market is an astonishing betrayal of those who produce to wealth in this country, said Labour's Rural Affairs spokesperson Damien O'Connor.

"Farmers and those living in, and supporting rural industries, are becoming increasingly frustrated, and the Minister of Agriculture was challenged on this at the Federated Farmers Conference yesterday in Auckland.

"Farmers are told they must innovate, improve environmental performance and increase productivity while at the same time being hamstrung by totally inadequate communications systems," says Damien O'Connor.

"If the National Government is serious about growing New Zealand out of this recession then assisting with real money for rural broadband will be far more productive than spending $1.5 billion so city kids can download movies faster.

"The huge reduction in Government funding for research and development through the destruction of the Fast Forward Fund, the elimination of funding for Adult and Community Education, and the urban focus of the broadband package once again confirm that the National Party use the rural vote to gain power and then abuse it when it comes to rural services," said Damien O'Connor.

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