The state government remains open to negotiating Tasmania’s connection to an international data cable, as Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie ramps up her support of the issue.
The fibre cable will start in Singapore and be laid to Indonesia, Perth and through the Bass Strait to Sydney.
In June Senator Lambie wrote to Premier Will Hodgman expressing her support for Tasmania to be connected to the SubPartners’ cable.
“As you are aware, this cable is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver access to reliable, ultra-fast fibre optic cable,” she wrote.
“Connecting Tasmania to this marine data cable will attract much-needed investment.”
Senator Lambie said the cable would improve reliability, affordability and security “for both household consumers and for commercial-scale users”.
“I urge you to take advantage of this opportunity to pass and commit to this investment in Tasmania’s future,” she said.
A spokesman for the government said it remained “willing to continue discussions with Subpartners and other consortium members about a spur to Tasmania”.
“However, it needs to be remembered that the proposal put by SubPartners was for taxpayers to pay US$15 million for a direct cable to Sydney that we wouldn’t own, and would have no rights or capacity in,” he said.
“Given Tasmania already has three data cables across Bass Strait, it is surprising that Senator Lambie thinks spending around $20 million on this cable, instead of essential services such as health, is a good use of taxpayer money.”