A new review into rural and regional telecommunications which shines a light on digital agriculture and a thriving tourism industry has been welcomed by the Member for Parkes.
Mark Coulton said the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review: Getting it right out there has put forward 10 recommendations to improve access to telecommunications infrastructure, modernise consumer protections and ensure better digital inclusion.
“The Regional Telecommunications Review makes a strong case that the benefits of increased digital connectivity for rural and regional areas are immense,” Mr Coulton said.
“It provides a pathway for the Coalition Government to improve regional telecommunications, including in the Parkes electorate, meaning better support for small businesses and reliable communications in times of emergency.
“There are also benefits to industry. Economic modelling shows that digital agriculture could increase the value of our agricultural industries by $20.3 billion.
“Improved telecommunication also drives a more successful tourism industry, in turn creating jobs.”
Mr Coulton said investment in regional telecommunications has proved valuable through more reliable services and strong uptake by business.
“Small business owners can more easily grow their enterprise with better telecommunications. Connectivity also helps to strengthen local economies across my electorate.”
The Review follows public consultation sessions held right across Australia, including in Narrabri in July this year. More than 380 submissions were received from a range of individuals and organisations across the country.
• The Review is conducted every three years by an independent Committee.
• The government will respond to the Committee’s recommendations in early 2019.
• The final report is available at: www.communications.gov.au/regional-telecommunications-review