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Albanese Government all talk and no action on regional communications

The member for Durack, Melissa Price, and Shadow Minister for Communications, Sarah Henderson, have hit out at the Albanese Government for dramatically undercutting its investment in regional communications.

“Prior to the federal election, the Coalition delivered a $811.8 million regional telecommunications package compared with only $656 million from Labor. This will really hurt remote communities in Durack where the digital divide remains an issue,” Ms Price said.

“I worked exceptionally hard with the Durack community to deliver very significant communications infrastructure funding including more than $4 million for Fitzroy Crossing under round 2 of the Coalition’s Regional Connectivity Program (RCP) to upgrade the NBN from satellite to fibre to the premises.”

In the electorate of Durack alone, the most remote of any in the country, the Coalition when in government funded:
• 145 new or upgraded mobile base stations under the Mobile Black Spot Program;
• 35 projects under the RCP; and
• 66 projects under the STAND program.

Despite announcing 93 projects under round 2 of the RCP including $37,866,938 for 18 projects in Western Australia, Labor sat on its hands for almost five months before confirming this funding,” Senator Henderson said.

“Regrettably, Labor’s Communications Minister, Michelle Rowland spends her time taking credit for Coalition funding programs rather than delivering the additional investment that regional communities deserve,” Senator Henderson said.

“Labor’s record when last in government was woeful – it failed to deliver any funding for mobile base stations and delivered the NBN to only 51,000 premises.”

As Labor plans to take the axe to regional Australia in its upcoming Budget, I condemn Minister Rowland for being all talk and no action on regional connectivity,” Senator Henderson concluded.

18 October 2022

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