People living and working in Aurukun and Napranum can now look forward to new and improved telecommunications services thanks to the Morrison Government’s Regional Connectivity Program.
The $90 million program is delivering 81 place-based digital connectivity solutions in regional Australia through a range of mobile and broadband services.
The $289,638 project in Aurukun will see an upgrade to transmission and backhaul capacity at Telstra’s 4G base station.
This will see improved connectivity and support for online banking and financial transactions at existing retail businesses as well as supporting employment opportunities at an industrial estate currently under development in the area.
The $356,908 project in Napranum will establish a fixed wireless network comprising one greenfield 45m tower.
The improved connectivity will enable the Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council to deliver services more efficiently, including health, welfare, education, emergency management and cultural heritage programs.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said both projects would certainly boost connectivity in these remote indigenous communities.
“I am thrilled that residents and businesses in Aurukun and Napranum will enjoy the benefits and opportunities that improved digital connectivity brings,” Mr Entsch said.
“These projects will provide people in those communities with access to improved broadband services and data, delivering fast, affordable and reliable connectivity.
“This will help keep our businesses connected, our families stay in touch and mean we can better access health, education and online services on the go.”
Federal Regional Communications Minister Mark Coulton said the RCP is part of the Coalition Government’s ongoing commitment to bring the digital economy to the regions.
He said the program complements the National Broadband Network and the Mobile Black Spot Program.
“The Regional Connectivity Program is providing targeted upgrades to connectivity in regional areas that need it the most ensuring more Australians can access high-speed, reliable broadband and mobile services,” Mr Coulton said.
“The government is listening to the digital needs of regional communities and businesses and has used the RCP to design and deliver place-based solutions that solve rural connectivity issues
“The government has taken a collaborative approach in delivering the RCP and has engaged with the telecommunications industry and regional communities to make sure the funded projects are tailored to the needs and priorities of each region and are supported by the local community.”
The Federal Government is contributing $90.3 million to the Regional Connectivity Program.
This will generate total new investments of more than $164 million through co-contributions from funding recipients, state and territory governments and other third parties, such as local governments, regional businesses and community development organisations.
The program is a key component of the government’s response to the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review.
The delivery of successful projects under the program will begin in the coming weeks with projects expected to be completed by June 2022.