There’s been plenty of back-and-forth lately over the state of Australia’s copper telecommunications infrastructure, now Union representatives say Telstra’s network is in utter disrepair.

Reports today say some workers have resorted to using plastic bags and duct tape to repair damaged phone lines in urgent need of a permanent fix.

Maintaining copper network connection to residences has been a linchpin of the Coalition’s proposed NBN policy, but Shane Murphy, the assistant secretary of CEPU's New South Wales branch, says as far as he is concerned, there is no other option than to replace the ageing copper wires.

Mr Murphy said, "Unless we do it, customers around Australia will have poor internet and phone services for many many years ahead... there is no bandaid solution to this - whether it's in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, country towns - plastic bags and ringbarked cables are everywhere... it's time to replace the whole network, not a part of it."