Regional Australia deserves to be connected

Labor’s Shadow Assistant Minister for Workplace Relations, Lisa Chesters MP will today be attending the Elmore Field Days to talk to local constituents regarding the failures of the Turnbull Government’s NBN rollout, and the importance of internet connectivity for regional communities and the future of farming. 

The recent report, compiled by the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network, included 23 hard-hitting recommendations to improve the future course of the NBN and get the project back on track. Labor MPs are calling for the recommendations to be implemented to ensure the NBN rollout meets the needs of current and future internet users.

Shadow Minister for Regional Communications, Stephen Jones MP said the committee had consulted with business, industry and residents over a 12 month period and identified systemic issues of faults, failed connections, reliability and chronic speed issues occurring across the network.

The committee has highlighted 23 hard-hitting recommendations to help improve customer service, technology improvements, handling of complaints and transparency including:

• The Government direct and enable NBN to complete as much as possible of the remaining fixed line network using Fibre to the Curb at a minimum where feasible, and require NBN to produce a costed plan and timetable under which that would be achieved.
• The urgent need for new consumer and supplier rights which provide protections, wholesale service-levels and remedies for service failures
• The introduction of a new business grade product specifically geared towards small business
• An overhaul of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman to give it more power and ability to resolve consumer disputes
• The Government should ensure that digital inclusion is measured and reported
• The introduction of a regional and remote reference group to support the rollout of the NBN in rural and remote Australia

Ms Chesters will be seeking feedback on the report from those attending the Elmore Field Days and ask regional Australians if they feel the recommendations will help their cohort receive stronger infrastructure.

The Government needs to support these recommendations which will deliver improved outcomes for consumers and reflect the evidence received from over 12 months of hearings.

It is imperative rural and regional Australians are given the same technology as their city counterparts.
Farmers and agriculture businesses are in desperate need of technology upgrades if they are to continue to create produce for our local economy.