The federal Opposition has restated its pledge to discontinue the "reckless" National Broadband Network roll-out if it wins government later this year, saying it would not proceed with the landmark cooperative agreement signed today between NBN Co and Telstra.
The Coalition doubts that the complex contract negotiations that will result from the Heads of Agreement signed today would be completed by the time the election is held, making the scrapping of the NBN roll-out straight-forward.
Shadow finance minister Andrew Robb and communications spokesman Tony Smith issued a joint statement saying the agreement did nothing to reduce the risks of the project, or to demonstrate that taxpayers were getting value for money.
Seizing on a statement from Telstra on the non-binding Heads of Agreement that conceded there remained a huge amount of work to be done and that a successful contract negotiation was not assured, Mr Robb and Mr Smith said it was still possible to halt the project.
They say the NBN plan would risk billions of dollars to recreate a government-owned telecommunications network that won't deliverer servicers for years, and that "Rudd Labor's expensive, interventionist and irresponsible plan is not the only way to deliver faster and better broadband."
"It is clear that if any agreement is to be reached it will not be finalised for many months, well after the federal election," the joint statement said.
"Clearly because the Coalition does not support Labor's reckless NBN we would not proceed with this arrangement if elected."