Minister for Regional Services, Senator Bridget McKenzie, has tabled the report of the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review, which makes a series of recommendations to improve telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote Australia.
The report 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review: Getting it right out there puts forward 10 recommendations to improve access to telecommunications infrastructure, ensure modern and appropriate consumer protections and promote digital inclusion.
Senator McKenzie welcomed the findings and said the Liberal National Government will be taking the recommendations very seriously.
“Telecommunications touches every aspect of life for those living in regional, rural and remote Australia. This report is a vital check-up on the health of regional communications. Now more than ever it is critical that we get connectivity right in our regions,” Minister McKenzie said.
“We know that better regional communications is a key to growing local communities. As Regional Capitals Australia said in a submission to the Productivity Commission, ‘Better internet connections draw jobs to regions not just by attracting businesses, but by attracting workers for whom fast broadband is a baseline requirement to move to an area.’
“This Liberal and Nationals Government has a proven track-record of investing in and delivering regional telecommunications. Our highly successful $220 million Mobile Black Spot Program is expanding mobile coverage across Australia and is already making a real difference.
“The regional rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is almost complete and NBN Co recently announced plans to boost data for rural and regional Australians on the Sky Muster satellite service. The Liberal National Government is also consulting on new arrangements to modernise our Consumer Protections Framework.
“The Committee was the most consultative ever held, with 22 public sessions across the country, from Kalgoorlie to Katherine and Whyalla to Narrabri. More than 380 submissions were also received from a range of individuals and organisations.
“I thank the Committee for their comprehensive report and for everyone who participated in the review.”
The Government will respond to the Committee’s recommendations in early 2019.
The review is conducted every three years by an independent Committee.
The final report is available at: www.communications.gov.au/regional-telecommunications-review
Jonathan Hawkes: 0434 660 801