David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

Improving digital connectivity in Maranoa

July 30, 2020

Maranoa MP David Littleproud is encouraging community organisations in Maranoa to collaborate on projects and apply for funding that will give the bush more options in how they conduct business and stay connected in their communities.

“Applications are now open for the Australian Government’s $53 million Regional Connectivity Program, which will provide targeted investment to improve digital connectivity in regional areas,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Improved digital connectivity is a huge boost for businesses, locals and visitors in the bush. It brings greater access to education, more opportunities to stay connected to the community and brings peace of mind for those living and working in regional and remote areas.

“Breaks in our communications hinder emergency services, tourism and business – that’s why this program is so important for Maranoa and why I’ve been advocating so hard on this issue.

“This Program could provide life changing outcomes for people in the bush and I encourage all regional development organisations, telecommunications providers, and government organisations in Maranoa to take advantage of this opportunity and work together to develop proposals that will improve connectivity and drive benefits for our communities.”

Examples of projects that could be funded under the program include upgrades to mobile infrastructure to improve community access to telehealth, remote education and retail internet and phone services, or the development of enterprise-grade broadband networks to support local agricultural, manufacturing and tourism businesses to increase their online presence.

The Program, announced by Mr Littleproud, the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher and the Minister for Regional Communications, the Hon Mark Coulton, will provide targeted investment in local telco infrastructure projects to maximise economic and social opportunities in regional and remote communities across the country.

“We are taking a ‘place based’ approach to investment through the program because we recognise that regions such as Maranoa have distinct digital needs and, in some cases, require customised solutions to complement existing infrastructure,” Minister Fletcher said.

“Collaboration is an excellent method to give an application real ‘bite’. We are looking for projects that will provide the most profound benefit to local communities and by joining forces, I’m confident we will see many great solutions come from the bush to improve services in the bush,” Minister Coulton said.

The online Program Noticeboard provides a portal for collaboration where applicants can find and register potential projects, linking regional communities and industry providers.

Applications are open until 20 October 2020 (5:00pm AEDT). The guidelines and application process is available on the Government’s central grants website: www.grants.gov.au