BETTER MOBILE RECEPTION FOR NORTH QUEENSLAND

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Residents and businesses in North Queensland will soon be better connected following a successful application for funding under Round 2 of the Regional Connectivity Program.

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

The more than $20.5 million in Coalition Government funding will be invested across North Queensland to deploy three macro mobile sites, three fixed wireless networks and upgrade the nbn™ service technology in several locations from nbn™ Sky Muster Satellite to nbn™ Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology.

Through Round 1 of the RCP, the Coalition Government funded more than 130 projects in regional, rural, and remote communities, including seven in the Kennedy electorate, and these Round 2 projects will now build upon the Government’s past investment in the Program.

“These Round 2 projects will build upon the Government’s past investment in the Mobile Blackspot Program, which has funded 41 Mobile Black Spot Program projects in Kennedy to date,” said Senator McKenzie.

“I’m very pleased that residents and businesses across Kennedy will soon be able to enjoy the benefits and opportunities that this project will bring in terms of digital connectivity.

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

“Our 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 and are supported by the community. This approach has resulted in an opportunity to create real change in the regions.

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

Special Envoy for Northern Australia and LNP Senator for Queensland, Susan McDonald said she had recently written to Telstra regarding service disruptions in Kennedy and was pleased to see more action being taken to address a pressing issue.

“Having access to fast reliable mobile service and internet is a matter of life and death in remote areas and it’s something I am constantly bringing up in Canberra,” Senator McDonald said.

“Telecommunications access is required to run a business and stay in touch with family and friends. In urban areas it has become a necessity of life and that needs to be extended to regional areas.

“We want to grow the population of Northern Australia, and providing high-speed telecommunications is key to improving business and making our region more attractive as a place to live, work and raise a family.”

LNP Candidate for Kennedy, Bryce Macdonald, welcomed the funding for nine projects in the Kennedy electorate and said improvements to telecommunications coverage and connectivity was a key issue for regional areas.

“Improving the range and reliability of mobile phone and internet services has been a constant theme as I have engaged with communities across the Kennedy electorate and this funding is a big step in the right direction” said Mr Macdonald.

“Nowadays, everything from emergency management and telehealth, to online education and precision agriculture depends on the capacity and the quality of the digital connectivity available, so this is a critical issue for the bush” he said.

“With more people now working remotely, rural communities have an opportunity to promote themselves as attractive places to live and raise a family, as long as they can remain well connected to their employers, customers and clients”.

Mr Macdonald said the Federal LNP Government understood the importance of telecommunications to communities and industries in the regions and he looked forward to continuing to advocate for more funding for the Kennedy electorate.

• NB: Applications to address mobile reception issues must be made through telecom providers who then make an approach to the government for funding.

Regional Connectivity Program Round 2 Projects in Kennedy:

Doomadgee – Kennedy ($957,200)
The project will deploy a new Telstra macro cell base station to provide new coverage to the Aboriginal township of Doomadgee.

Richmond Croydon Road – Kennedy ($459,600)
The project will deploy a high-speed fixed wireless broadband network, backhaul, public Wi-Fi and free LoRaWAN network to 40,000km2 of Far North Western Queensland. The project will improve connectivity in the area between Richmond and the town of Croydon and surrounding area.

Gulf Development Road – Kennedy ($1,000,800)
The project will deploy a high-speed fixed wireless broadband network, backhaul, public Wi-Fi and free LoRaWAN network to 40,000km2 of Far Northern Western Queensland. The project will improve the connectivity in the area from Normanton to Georgetown and the Gilbert River Agricultural Precinct.

Burketown and Normanton – Kennedy ($7,404,450)
The project will deploy 226 km of fibre optic cable between Burketown and Normanton, North-West Queensland, and supporting infrastructure to complete a fibre loop encircling North-West Queensland. This will create additional network redundancy for 66 per cent of Queensland and additional network resiliency for 780,000 Queenslanders across 15 Local Government Areas.

Ravenswood – Kennedy ($904,700)
The project will deploy a new Telstra macro mobile site, providing improved handheld coverage to the Ravenswood township.

Forrest Beach – Kennedy ($785,350)
The project will deploy a new Telstra macro cell mobile site, providing new and improved handheld coverage to Forrest Beach, the township, Allingham and the wider surrounding area.

Julia Creek – Kennedy ($4,183,082)
The project will upgrade the nbn™ service technology in the town of Julia Creek from nbn™ Sky Muster Satellite to nbn™ Fibre to the Premises.

Boulia – Kennedy ($2,959,562)
The project will upgrade the nbn™ service technology in the town of Boulia from nbn™ Sky Muster Satellite to nbn™ Fibre to the Premises.

Mareeba – Kennedy ($1,846,393)
The project is an extension of a Round 1 RCP project and will deploy a fixed wireless network across the Mareeba local government area.


Mobile Blackspot Program

We have funded 41 new base stations in Kennedy under the Mobile Black Spot Program to date, with 34 of these projects already completed.

Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND)
In Kennedy 38 base stations have received funding under the Mobile Network Hardening Program (MNHP) to receive at least 12 hours back-up power, all which are operational, and with a further 27 projects committed under Stage 2.

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 12 locations across Kennedy that received funding, 5 of which are currently operational.

Only the Coalition will continue to deliver for Queensland as part of our plan to build a strong economy and a stronger future.

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


Media contacts:
Minister McKenzie – David Edghill| 0477 417 516 | David.Edghill@infrastructure.gov.au
Senator McDonald – Julian Tomlinson | 0421 059 187 | Julian Tomlinson@aph.gov.au
Bryce Macdonald – 0429 021 965

 

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