Leader of The Nationals in the Senate, Ron Boswell, is visiting Barcaldine, Blackall, Tambo, Longreach, Aramac, Winton and Alpha in Central Queensland this week, and is telegraphing the benefits that will soon flow locally from the $2 billion regional telecommunications fund set up by The Nationals.
“The Coalition Government has just announced that the first Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee will begin its review immediately to decide how the initial money earned on investment of the $2 billion should be spent,” Senator Boswell said.
“The Committee will include some prominent Queenslanders, notably local Barcoo Mayor, Bruce Scott and former head of the AMA, Dr Bill Glasson, to make certain Western Queensland gets a fair share of the estimated $400 million available funds.
“The review will examine any telecommunications shortfalls in regional areas, and particularly in remote areas where it is easy to fall behind with the communications technology available in Brisbane.
“I understand that the $400 million could be used to upgrade and deliver services like mobile telephone coverage and broadband availability that are not always commercially viable to get established and maintain in very remote areas.
“I encourage all Central Western Queenslanders, local councils and community groups who have an idea or an interest in telecommunications services to take part in the inquiry and express your views on where the money needs to go.
“$400 million, spent wisely, can go a long way to filling telecommunications holes in remote Australia,” Senator Boswell said.
“The $2 billion regional telecommunications fund was designed as a perpetual fund that would utilise its investment return every three years to make sure remote and regional areas keep up with the latest communications technology.
“Unfortunately, Labor has indicated that, if they win the election at the end of the year, they will raid this fund to help them provide their outrageously expensive fibre to the node network to service the cities, with no benefit for regional and remote communities,” Senator Boswell said.
Media contact – 0428 714 779