“This confirms that through the Liberal Party’s short sighted stinginess they squandered a golden opportunity to get this critical piece of infrastructure right the first time,” said Allen Hicks, National Secretary of the Electrical Trades Union.
“As the pandemic has shown, high quality broadband is a necessity, not a luxury. Many Australians have struggled to work from home due to patchy connections. Today’s announcement confirms that the Liberals got it wrong. It will now cost taxpayers billions of dollar to go back a second time and do the job properly.
“Let’s hope they learn from the past and get the second attempt right. We know that in the past, the pyramid subcontracting has led to shoddy work.
“It’s now critical that it is done properly. The work must go to people with the skills, qualifications and experience to do this job properly. This also presents a huge opportunity to train young Australians.
“Paul Fletcher has an opportunity to fix the mistakes of his predecessors and we hope he seizes it.”