The McGowan Government is stepping up efforts to close the digital divide in regional Western Australia, setting aside $20.7 million for the Regional Telecommunications Project.
Poor digital connectivity has been identified as one of the major impediments to regional economic development and job creation.
This new funding will ensure WA gets its fair share in the next rounds of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, putting the State in a strong position to negotiate for Federal and industry investment.
In the last round of the program, the McGowan Government secured 26 new mobile towers for regional Western Australia – an investment of $14.6 million for the State.
Funding will be dependent on leveraging investment from the Federal Government and industry.
As stated by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“While telecommunications is a Federal responsibility, the McGowan Government recognises that we cannot let our regional communities fall behind due to poor digital infrastructure.
“Poor connectivity stifles economic development, hurts regional businesses, makes it difficult for our farmers to compete in a global market, and is a safety risk in remote areas.
“We are investing heavily to close the digital gap in regional WA, through fixing mobile black spots, our Digital Farm program to drive agricultural productivity, and our State Agricultural Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund.
“By putting $20.7 million on the table to leverage funding for mobile black spots, we are ensuring regional WA gets its fair share of Federal investment.
“We will work closely with the Federal Government, putting forward our State’s priority mobile black spot locations to get the best result for regional WA.”