JOINT MEDIA RELEASE WITH THE MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS, CYBER SAFETY AND THE ARTS PAUL FLETCHER & MINISTER FOR REGIONAL HEALTH, REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT MARK COULTON

Applications for the Australian Government’s $53 million Regional Connectivity Program are now open.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Regional Communications, the Hon Mark Coulton MP and Senator Sarah Henderson, are encouraging regional development organisations, telecommunications providers, as well as government organisations in regional Victoria to collaborate on projects and apply for funding.

The Program will provide targeted investment in local telco infrastructure projects to maximise economic and social opportunities in regional and remote communities across the country.

“We are taking a ‘place‑based’ approach to investment through the program because we recognise that regions such as regional Victoria have distinct digital needs and in some cases require customised solutions to complement existing infrastructure,” Minister Fletcher said.

Examples of projects that could be funded under the program include upgrades to mobile infrastructure to improve community access to telehealth, remote education and retail internet and phone services, or the development of enterprise-grade broadband networks to support local agricultural, manufacturing and tourism businesses to increase their online presence

“Collaboration is an excellent method to give an application real ‘bite’. We are looking for projects that will provide the most profound benefit to local communities and by joining forces, I’m confident we will see many great solutions come from the bush to improve services in the bush,” Minister Coulton said.

“I encourage applicants to use the Program Noticeboard to share ideas and work together to develop proposals that will improve connectivity for regional Victoria and drive benefits for our community,” Senator Henderson said.

The online Program Noticeboard provides a portal for collaboration where applicants can find and register potential projects, linking regional communities and industry providers.

Applications are open until 20 October 2020 (5:00pm AEDT). The guidelines and application process is available on the Government’s central grants website: www.grants.gov.au

28 July 2020