Media statement to Channel 7 Lismore
The Coalition when in government delivered record funding for regional communications infrastructure including for disaster resilience.
Under the Coalition’s $37.1 million STAND (Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters) program, many hundreds of upgrades to NBN and mobile phone infrastructure are being delivered.
The funding of the installation of NBN Sky Muster satellite dishes at the Coraki and Woodburn SES Units, and the Lismore/Casino RFS unit, is as a result of the Coalition’s $7 million program to invest in telecommunications redundancy during natural disasters at fire stations and evacuation centres, a key part of STAND.
It is most regrettable that a $106 million program to boost the resilience of telecommunications infrastructure for natural disasters in vulnerable locations announced by the Coalition in the March 2022 budget has been axed by the Albanese Labor Government. At a time when so many communities were suffering from flood disaster, this was just cruel.
On background: In May 2020, the Coalition announced the $37.1 million STAND program to prevent, mitigate and manage telecommunications outages in natural disasters. The program is made up of four elements; Mobile Network Hardening Program ($18 million), Temporary Telco Infrastructure Deployments ($10 million), Better Telecommunications for rural and country fire service depots and evacuation centres ($7 million), and Improved coordination and communication to communities about access to telecommunications in emergencies ($2.1 million).
See also https://sarahhenderson.com.au/labors-budget-fails-regional-australia-with-cruel-cuts-to-regional-connectivity/
8 December 2022