| May 03, 2018

2018 Regional Telecommunications Review, Have Your Say

Minister for Regional Communications, the Hon Bridget McKenzie, has announced the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review that will examine communication issues in regional, rural and remote areas across Australia.

The Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee is convened every three years. As part of the review, the committee will:

• consider how regional communities can maximise the economic benefits of digital technologies
• consider how regional consumers use their broadband services and how they might derive more benefits, and
• analyse the coverage outcomes achieved through the Mobile Black Spot Program, and examine the extent of the existing gaps in mobile coverage in regional Australia.

Federal Member for Murray, the Hon Damian Drum said communications in regional Victoria is one of the most important issues that locals have.

“Everyone who lives in regional Australia wants access to the best possible communication technology that is available. I often speak to locals who struggle to get mobile phone reception on the land, which in some instances can affect their business. Along with the mobile Black Spot program, this review should create better communications for people in the country,” Mr Drum said. 

“Six members have been appointed to the Committee, including former state member for Rodney, Paul Weller. Having a local from Lockington on the committee is great for our local area because Paul knows of all of the issues we have with our communications.

The other five members are Mr Sean Edwards (Chair), Ms Wendy Duncan, Ms Johanna Plante, Ms Robbie Sefton and Ms Kylie Stretton.

Senator McKenzie said the review will commence shortly and called for all rural Australians to participate.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for those across regional Victoria to have their say on how they use telecommunication services and the issues that affect them,” Minister McKenzie said.

“As a regional Victorian, I know how important it is to have access to 21st century communications. The Government recognises the benefits that improved connectivity can bring to the families, communities and businesses in our regions.”

“The Nationals as part of the Coalition Government are determined to ensure regional Victorians have the same access to telecommunications as people in and around Melbourne. Since 2013, we have rolled out more than 450 mobile base stations across the country. When Labor and the Independents were in Government, they built zero,” Senator McKenzie said.

The Committee will shortly call for submissions and will undertake public consultations in regional and rural areas later in the year. The Committee is expected to report to government by the end of September 2018.

More information on the review and the terms of reference are available at: www.rtirc.gov.au

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