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Labor pulls the plug on Teesdale residents

Joint media release

Shadow Minister for Education, Senator for Victoria, Senator Sarah Henderson
Shadow Minister for Communications, Hon David Coleman MP

The Albanese Government has pulled the plug on a much-needed $7.5 million National Broadband Network (NBN) upgrade for residents and businesses at Teesdale.

The growing township was set to receive the improved services under the first round of the former Coalition Government’s Regional Connectivity Program.

Announced in May 2021, the targeted $7.5 million allocation would have boosted 551 homes and businesses with ‘fibre to the premises’ NBN, allowing faster, more affordable, and more reliable connectivity.

The rollout of the NBN was aimed at providing high-speed internet access to homes and businesses across the country – including regional and rural areas – by replacing existing copper infrastructure with optical fibre, fixed wireless, and satellite technologies.

Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson, said the Coalition fought hard to ensure Teesdale and other regional communities across Victoria benefited from high-speed broadband.

“This is yet another savage cut from the Albanese Government which continues to turn its back on regional Victoria,” Senator Henderson said.

“How can Labor justify this cut when the NBN’s own website clearly states this funding will support Teesdale’s growing population and benefit nearly 551 families and businesses?

Senator Henderson said Ballarat MP Catherine King had dropped the ball when it came to ensuring her electorate received vital investments.

“Broadband connectivity in every community matters.  By pulling the plug on Teesdale residents, Catherine King has once again failed to stand up for her electorate,” Senator Henderson said.

“Labor has also scrapped fibre to the premises broadband rollouts in Birregurra and Timboon, representing a total funding cut of $23 million in these regional Victorian towns,” Senator Henderson said.

Shadow Communications Minister David Coleman said Labor’s scrapping of the projects in Victoria comes after the Minister personally hand-picked locations in Labor seats for improved mobile coverage under the Mobile Black Spot Program.

“The Auditor-General is now investigating the Mobile Black Spot Program after Minister Michelle Rowland directed funds into Labor electorates,” Mr Coleman said.

“In Round 6 of the program, the Minister supported only three projects going to Victoria out of a total of 54, and all of the Victorian funds went to Labor seats.  NSW got 27 projects, and again, every single one was in Labor seats.

“There are serious questions for the Albanese Government to answer over its handling of the Mobile Black Spot Program, and the scrapping of projects in Victoria is another example of how Labor is treating local communities badly when it comes to improving mobile coverage.”

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