Senator the Hon. Bridget McKenzie Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education
Tuesday, 10 May 2022
$157 million to improve telecommunications in Northern Australia
The Coalition Government will provide $157 million to deliver fast and reliable telecommunications services in Northern Australia, following a significant investment in the 2022-23 Federal Budget.
This investment will be delivered under the $811.8 million Connecting Regional Australia initiative, which will expand mobile coverage and address blackspots, target localised telecommunications needs, enhance resilience to natural disasters, trial emerging technologies, boost Indigenous connectivity and improve digital capability in the regions.
Minister for Regional Communications Bridget McKenzie, said telecommunications are an essential service and under the Coalition’s plan, communities in Northern Australia would receive improved services that respond to local needs.
“The Connecting Regional Australia initiative is the cornerstone of the Coalition Government’s response to the 2021 Regional Telecommunications Review and will further upgrade telecommunications in our regional, rural, remote and outer-urban communities across the nation,” Minister McKenzie said.
“The Coalition Government has dedicated funding from the Connecting Regional Australia initiative for Northern Australia to ensure we deliver the digital infrastructure people in the north deserve.
“As a first step, a proportion of Connecting Regional Australia funds will be earmarked for projects in Northern Australia which support the objectives of the Our North Our Future 2021-2026: Targeted Growth plan.
“This will help us deliver upon the Coalition Government’s priorities to deliver a strong economy and a stronger future, including in the North.”
A total of $1.3 billion was allocated in the Federal Budget toward telecommunications, including the Connecting Regional Australia initiative and major upgrades to NBN’s Fixed Wireless and Satellite networks.
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud MP, said the Coalition Government’s investment would improve access to the digital economy for our First Nations communities, regional communities and businesses in the growth area of Northern Australia.
“This investment in Northern Australia will provide either an upgrade or in some cases, the first digital connections for businesses. It will extend the economic and social benefits of high-speed, reliable broadband and mobile services to Australians living and working in the north,” Minister Littleproud said.
“As part of the Connecting Northern Australia initiative and Regional Connectivity Program, $72.4 million of funding was allocated to mobile and digital connectivity projects following an exceptionally strong response, highlighting the importance – and our commitment – to delivering high quality telecommunications infrastructure and keeping communities connected.
“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.”
Only the Coalition has a plan to deliver a strong economy and a stronger future for Northern Australia.
More information about the Connecting Regional Australia Program is available at: