Labor missing in action on vital Regional Connectivity Program in Eden-Monaro

Sep 8, 2022

The Albanese Labor Government is missing in action over $140 million of investment in regional communications, announced under round 2 of the Coalition’s Regional Connectivity Program.

Senator for New South Wales Jim Molan is calling on Labor to urgently confirm it will deliver $58,875 for the Nanima Village project as well as $85,725 for the Quaama project. The Nanima Village project will deploy a new Telstra site, which will provide improved handheld coverage to this Aboriginal community in the Western Plains Regional area of NSW. The Quaama project will also see a new Telstra site deployed, improving coverage in the township and surrounding area.

“Prior to the federal election, the Coalition government announced it would provide this vital funding for the Nanima Village and Quaama, which will deliver a major boost in regional connectivity,” Senator Molan said.

“Our community has been waiting three and a half months for the Albanese Government to confirm that these projects will proceed and so far we have heard nothing. This is just not good enough,” Senator Molan said.

“These grants were decisions of government. The Labor government’s failure to confirm this funding has the potential to put these projects at risk, along with third party project funding committed by telecommunications companies and state governments,” Senator Molan said.

“I congratulate Senator Molan on advocating for the communications infrastructure needs of his community. These 93 projects are so important to close the digital divide across our country. They include new and improved mobile, voice and data coverage as well as fixed wireless, fibre and satellite broadband service upgrades across regional, rural and remote Australia,” Shadow Minister for Communications, Senator Henderson said.

“In failing to confirm these projects, including the funding for each project and the timeline of delivery, Labor is showing its contempt for regional Australia. This comes after Labor announced an election commitment of $646 million for regional telecommunications, a $155 million cut on the Coalition’s $811.8 million commitment under its Connecting Regional Australia Initiative.” Senator Henderson said.

“Whether it’s the RCP, the rollout of the NBN or the funding of more than 1200 new or upgraded mobile towers, the Coalition has a proud record of investing in regional connectivity in stark contrast to Labor’s failure to fix one mobile black spot when last in government,” Senator Henderson concluded.