Telecommunications boost for Capricornia

Residents of and visitors to Mackay, Pasha and Livingstone in central Queensland’s electorate of Capricornia will soon be better connected following successful applications for funding mobile and broadband upgrades under Round 2 of the Regional Connectivity Program.

Minister for Regional Communications, Bridget McKenzie said the projects form part of the Coalition Government’s continuing roll-out of the $257 million Regional Connectivity Program (RCP).

Almost $7.7 million in Coalition Government funding will be invested to deploy a new macro mobile site, fixed wireless networks and fibre backhaul for improved coverage and broadband connectivity in remote locations.

The implementation of voice over LTE (VoLTE) will also be included, allowing users to continue using 4G mobile data while making and receiving calls.

Through Round 1 of the RCP, the Coalition Government funded more than 130 projects in regional, rural, and remote communities, including two in the electorate of Capricornia. These Round 2 projects will now build upon the Government’s past investment in the Program.

“These latest projects build on our past investment in the Mobile Blackspot Program, which has funded 17 Mobile Black Spot Program projects in Capricornia,” Minister McKenzie said.

“I’m very pleased that residents and businesses across Capricornia will soon be able to enjoy the benefits and opportunities that this project will bring in terms of digital connectivity.

“Digital connectivity is an essential part of how we work, learn, stay safe and remain in contact with loved ones. The Coalition will continue to invest in this critical infrastructure as part of our plan for a strong economy and stronger future.

“Our Government has continued to take a collaborative approach with the telecommunications industry and regional and remote communities to make sure that the funded projects are tailored to the needs of each region and are supported by the community. This approach has resulted in an opportunity to create real change in the regions.

“By contrast, Labor has not funded a single mobile tower in regional Australia, in fact they recently announced that an Albanese led government will cut $155 million from the budget for regional communications.”

Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry welcomed the announcement and said that providing better connectivity and increased data will have a clear benefit to the local region.

“I’m thrilled that residents and businesses in Mackay Regional Council, Isaac Regional Council and Livingstone Shire Council will enjoy the benefits and opportunities that improved digital connectivity brings,” Ms Landry said.

“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.”

“I will continue fighting for better telecommunications across Capricornia.”

Regional Connectivity Program Round 2 Projects in Capricornia:

Mackay Regional Project, Capricornia ($5,415,390)

The project will deploy a fixed wireless network and corresponding fibre backhaul in the Mackay area, including Finch Hatton, Pinnacle, Gargett, Eungella and the surrounding areas of Marian and Mirani.

Pasha, Capricornia ($935,750)

The project will upgrade one Telstra macro cell mobile station at Pasha to provide improved handheld coverage to the Pasha area and bordering highway.

Livingstone Agriculture Precinct, Capricornia ($1,306,400)

The project will deploy a fixed wireless network providing broadband coverage to the Livingstone agricultural precinct and neighbouring areas. The network will extend mobile and broadband connectivity and voice over LTE in the area.

Mobile Blackspot Program

We have funded 17 mobile base stations in Capricornia under the Mobile Black Spot Program to date. To date, 15 base stations are complete and now on air.

Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND)

In Capricornia three base stations have received funding under the Mobile Network Hardening Program (MNHP) to receive at least 12 hours back-up power.

Under the STAND package, the Liberal and Nationals Government is upgrading telecommunications connectivity at fire service depots and evacuation centres across Australia to support their essential work. This involves the installation of NBN Co. Sky Muster satellites at rural and country fire service depots and designated evacuation centres. There are six locations across Capricornia that received funding, four of which are currently operational.

Only the Coalition will continue to deliver for Queensland as part of our plan to build a strong economy and a stronger future.

More information about the Regional Connectivity Program is available at: http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/rcp

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