MIL-OSI Australia: Better telecommunications for regional Victoria

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Source: Australian National Party

 Residents of Axedale, Goornong, Colbinabbin and Toolleen in regional Victoria will soon have access to better connectivity in their local communities, following a successful application for funding new mobile coverage under round two of the Regional Connectivity Program. 

Minister for Regional Communications, Bridget McKenzie, said these projects form part of the Coalition Government’s continuing roll-out of the $257 million Regional Connectivity Program (RCP). 

“Through round one of the RCP, the Coalition Government funded more than 130 projects in country communities, including five projects in the electorate of Nicholls and surrounds, and these new projects build on the Government’s past investment in the program,” Minister McKenzie said. 

“I’m very pleased that residents, business and visitors to Axedale, Goornong, Colbinabbin and Tolleen will soon be able to enjoy the benefits and opportunities that this project will bring in terms of improved mobile voice coverage and digital connectivity to support their communities,” Minister McKenzie said. 

“The Coalition Government is investing over $1.3 million to deploy seven new Telstra macro cell mobile sites and fibre backhaul under the round two of the Regional Connectivity Program. 

“Digital connectivity is an essential part of how we work, learn, stay healthy and remain in contact with loved ones. The Coalition Government will continue to invest in this critical infrastructure as part of our plan for a strong economy and stronger future.” 

“The Coalition Government has continued to take a collaborative approach with the telecommunications industry, and regional and remote communities, to make sure that the funded projects are tailored to the needs of each region. 

“By contrast, Labor has not funded a single mobile tower in regional Australia, in fact they have recently announced an Albanese led government will cut $155 million from the budget for regional communications. 

Nationals candidate for Nicholls, Sam Birell, welcomed the investment for these towns under round two of the Regional Connectivity Program. 

“I welcome this great investment by the Coalition Government, which will deliver improved mobile voice and wireless broadband coverage,” Mr Birrell said. 

“This means locals will have improved access to essential services such as telehealth and education.” 

Liberal candidate for Nicholls, Steve Brooks also welcomed the announcement. 

“It is important that we deliver digital connectivity to a standard where farmers, small businesses and families are able to go about their business without interruption,” Mr Brooks said. 

“Delivering digital improvements for our residents and businesses will ensure they enjoy improved benefits and opportunities into the future.” 

Regional Connectivity Program Round 2 Projects in Nicholls and surrounds: 

Axedale, Goornong, Colbinabbin, Toolleen ($1,113,050) 

The project will deploy seven new macro mobiles sites and fibre backhaul to the east of Bendigo, at Fosterville Mine, Axedale, Goornong, Knowsley, Colbinabbin, Toolleen Sports Club and Heathcote Raceway, providing improved handheld coverage to the area. 

The Coalition Government’s track record of delivering regional communications in Nicholls: Mobile Blackspot Program Under the program, 6 mobile base stations have been funded to be deployed in the electorate, all of which are complete and now on air. The Coalition Government has committed $1.7 million under the program to date in the electorate of Nicholls to deliver new and improved mobile coverage. In Nicholls, the Coalition funding has leveraged a total investment of $3.8 million, including co-contributions from the mobile carriers, state and local governments, and community organisations. 

Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND) 

In the electorate of Nicholls, two base stations have received funding under the Mobile Network Hardening Program (MNHP) to receive at least 12 hours back-up power. 

Under the STAND package, the Coalition Government is upgrading telecommunications connectivity at fire service depots and evacuation centres across Australia to support their essential work. This involves the Installation of NBN Co Sky Muster satellites at rural and country fire service depots and designated evacuation centres. There are 73 locations across Nicholls that received funding, 70 are operational. 

Only the Coalition has a plan to continue delivering a strong economy and a stronger future for regional Victoria. 

More information about the Program is available at: http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/rcp 

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