ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
MAJOR CONNECTIVITY BOOST FOR ROADS, REGIONAL COMMUNITIES AND FARMS
Better mobile coverage on roads, as well as improved connectivity for regional communities and on farms, will lead an Albanese Labor Government’s approach to upgrading regional telecommunications.
Boosting coverage on roads and in regional communities
A key element of Labor’s Better Connectivity For Rural and Regional Australia plan will be the establishment of a $400 million fund to expand multi-carrier mobile coverage along roads, as well as for regional homes and businesses.
To support this, Labor will commit $20 million to commence in 2022 an independent national audit of mobile coverage to establish an evidence baseline to guide future priorities.
A competitive tender process will be used to identify a partner company capable of placing mobile signal measurement devices on Australia Post’s transport assets, to gather the best information possible.
Priorities will be assessed independently to maximise benefits, and this will include consultation with Infrastructure Australia, and broader community consultation.
Boosting connectivity for regional and peri-urban households and businesses
Labor will also commit $200 million to continue investing in place-based connectivity projects. Drawing from the Regional Connectivity Program, funded projects could include better mobile voice and data coverage, targeted fibre deployments, and improved microwave and fibre backhaul capacity to locations across regional and remote Australia.
Boosting on-farm connectivity for farmers
To support the productivity and safety of our farmers, Labor will also commit $30 million to help expand on-farm connectivity and enable better wireless extension solutions on the field.
This will enable more farmers to fully utilise sensor and connected-machinery technology to improve the efficiency of domestic food production and support the export growth potential of the sector.
Labor will boost funding for the Regional Tech Hub by $6 million to serve as a trusted intermediary and source of free and independent advice.
Labor regional telecommunications policy