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Labor’s NBN plan a big step forward but Aussie jobs plan urgently needed

The Communication Workerse Union today welcomed Labor’s announcement that it would maximise the use of fibre to the home in the NBN network rollout.

The Union lamented the lost opportunity to ‘do it once, do it right’, due to the Coalition’s stubborn refusal to invest in fibre to the home, but said Labor’s plan would get the project back on track.

“You can’t unwind the tangled wires of Malcolm Turnbull’s so called “NBN”. All we can do is make the best of a bad situation,” said CWU National Secretary Greg Rayner.

“The crazy thing is that the Turnbull Government will end up spending more to give us a substandard network, than Labor’s original fibre to the home plan.

“Labor plan, announced today, will get us back on the path to a National Broadband Network that will underpin the modern globally connected economy.”

The Union’s National President Shane Murphy also called on the Government to stop offshoring jobs on the NBN.

“Today we’ve seen the Turnbull Government’s plan to offshore NBN jobs intensify with a massive recruitment drive targeting Irish backpackers,” Mr Murphy said.

“This is Australia’s biggest job creating infrastructure project and with youth unemployment over 10 per cent, we need these job here and now.

“We’ve had enough of a Government which talks about jobs, but then sends good, steady $75,000 jobs offshore.

“There are thousands of Australians ready to work on the NBN and we need a Government that will invest in these people and come up with a plan to ensure Australian workers get first preference on NBN jobs.

“We should be rolling out traineeships for young Australians on the NBN. A trained and skilled up workforce will be needed, not only in the build and installation, but in the ongoing maintenance of the network.

“The NBN needs to be maintained for the future and that means investing in a local workforce capability.”

Mr Murphy also said we need to reign in the Turnbull Government’s pyramid contracting arrangements which undermine the success of the rollout.

“So far the Government’s approach has been to give NBN unfettered power to outsource, offshore and obliterate local job opportunities on what should be the nation’s greatest job creating project. That has to stop,” Mr Murphy said.

Media contact: Tim O’Halloran 0409 059 617

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