Federal Communications Minister to visit Bendigo

Bendigo business operators will have a great opportunity to hear an update on the progress of the National Broadband Network when the Federal Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy, visits the city next week.

Federal Labor candidate for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, said the NBN is a major nation building project and a great Labor achievement.

“The current three year implementation project is well underway and planning for the rollout in Bendigo will start later this year,” Ms Chesters said.

“The initial NBN investment in Bendigo is expected to be $147.5 million.”

Ms Chesters said figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week show that Greater Bendigo's population grew by 1.5 per cent between 2006 and 2011, taking the number of residents to more than 100,000.

“Bendigo is a city that is growing, and growing fast, and it needs early access to this technology to support its growth.”

“High-speed broadband connections have the potential to improve regional communities on many social and economic measures.”

“Early adoption will significantly improve education and healthcare facilities, improve operating efficiency of local businesses and provide better access to local, national and global markets.”

“I invited the Minister to Bendigo to discuss first hand how the NBN will transform local business's capabilities and global competitiveness.”

Ms Chesters will accompany the Minister on a tour of one of the many Bendigo businesses that will benefit from the NBN rollout.

“It’s a great chance for Bendigo to show how ready we are to connect,” Ms Chesters said.

Mr Conroy will also address a Bendigo Business Council lunch at the Foundry Hotel while in Bendigo.