Tasmanian Senator, Catryna Bilyk, said that the Abbott Government’s latest announcement on building their second-rate National Broadband Network was “too little, too late”.

“Labor was on track to rollout the real NBN in Tasmania by 2015, but the Government’s pre election promise to deliver their slower second-rate network by 2016 seems like a distant memory,” Senator Bilyk said.

“While the announcement of 200 new jobs for Tasmania is welcome, it is offset by the 100 jobs shed recently by Visionstream subcontractor Q Fibre, not to mention all the other subcontractors who have lost their jobs in the switch to the Government’s second rate multi technology mix,” Senator Bilyk said.

NBN executives revealed in Senate Estimates in June that, despite almost two years in Government, not a single commercial Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN) connection was available in all of Australia, despite FTTN being the key technology that the Government proposed to use in rolling out their second-rate network in Tasmania.

The announcement of hiring another 200 workers in Tasmania has come on the back of massive subcontractor job losses, the NBN rollout slowing to a crawl, and a blowout in the cost of the NBN from $29.5 billion to $42 billion.

“The Abbott Government’s pre-election promise of ‘Fast. Affordable. Sooner.’ has become an absolute joke,” said Senator Bilyk.

“No grand announcements from Malcolm Turnbull will make up for the fact that the Abbott Government has bungled this project ever since they took control of it.”