Telecommunications boost increases support for Cherbourg

Cherbourg residents will soon be better connected to essential services and loved ones, with $920,025 in Australian Government funding to improve telecommunications to more than 1800 homes and businesses.

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien said a new Telstra macro site would improve 4G coverage to 1847 premises in the Cherbourg township, and boost connectivity on 16km of the Bunya Highway and 5.8km of the Burnett Highway.

“Access to telecommunications is especially important in regional communities like Cherbourg, and this upgrade to mobile phone coverage will help keep families connected to their loved ones, and improve opportunities for businesses to grow,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Importantly, it will also help ensure that people can access vital telehealth and mental health services, and reach assistance including LifeLine and Triple 0 in case of health emergencies and natural disasters.”

Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Elvie Sandow thanked the Australian Government for supporting the continued growth of the Cherbourg community, which she said had a critical need for reliable and fast internet access.

“This investment will help address the current connectivity challenges faced by local government, business, and families across our community who currently struggle with reliable and consistent data speeds,” Mayor Sandow said.

“The demand for bandwidth, better speeds and reliability reflects a community embracing its digital future, it underscores the real value of this essential investment, which in turn empowers the continued growth of our emerging industry and enterprises, creating positive outcomes to progress and strengthen the future our community.”

Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, said the Cherbourg Regional Connectivity Program project forms part of the Australian Government’s continuing roll-out of the $257 million Regional Connectivity Program.

“I’m pleased that residents and businesses in Cherbourg will soon be able to enjoy the benefits and opportunities that this project will bring in terms of digital connectivity,” Minister McKenzie said.

“The Government has continued to take a collaborative approach with the telecommunications industry and regional and remote communities to make sure that the funded projects are tailored to the needs of each region and are supported by the community. This approach has resulted in an opportunity to create real change in the bush.

“As the last two years have shown, digital connectivity is an essential part of how we work, learn, stay healthy and remain in contact with loved ones and also to manage, adapt to and recover from an increasing range of natural disasters. These projects will make a difference.”

The $1.8 million Cherbourg project is jointly funded with the Australian Government contributing $920,025; the Queensland State Government contributing $454,350; and Telstra contributing $458,125.

The Australian Government has invested approximately $257 million in the Program, committing $117 million under Round 1 to deliver more than 130 place-based telecommunications projects and $140 million for Round 2, including dedicated funding of $72 million through the Connecting Northern Australia initiative (CNA initiative) for mobile coverage and digital connectivity projects in Northern Australia.

More information about the Program, including a full list of successful projects, is available at: http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/rcp