Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, and Minister for Regional Communications, Senator Bridget McKenzie, have welcomed news the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review Committee will visit Tamworth next week.
It follows Mr Joyce’s representations to the review committee asking if consideration be given to host a hearing in the New England Electorate.
The committee is convened every three years to examine regional telecommunication services issues in regional, rural and remote areas.
Six members from across Australia have been appointed to the Committee including Tamworth’s Robbie Sefton, who will proudly fly the flag for our region when the committee convenes for a consultation meeting in Tamworth on July 25.
Mr Joyce said confirmation of the Tamworth meeting was a win for people in the New England who will be able to have their say on local communication issues in a local context.
“If you have limited internet, poor mobile or landline phone service or have had a problem with the rollout of the NBN, now is the time to make your voice heard,” Mr Joyce said.
“The Review will pay particular attention to coverage achieved under the Mobile Black Spot Program, which is already delivering 37 new and upgraded mobile base stations in the New England, and examine the extent of the existing gaps in mobile coverage.
“I am also delighted that Tamworth resident, Robbie Sefton, Founder and Director of Seftons, is a member of the Committee, so this is a really great opportunity for our region to provide valuable feedback into the Review on our telecommunication needs.”
Minister McKenzie said the committee’s visit was a fantastic opportunity for those in the bush to have their say on how they use these services and the issues that affect them.
“As a regional Australian myself, I know how important it is to have access to 21st century communications. The Government recognises the benefits that improved connectivity can bring to the families, communities and businesses in our regions,” Minister McKenzie said.
The Committee also features Mr Sean Edwards (Chair), Ms Wendy Duncan, Ms Johanna Plante, Ms Kylie Stretton and Mr Paul Weller. The Committee is expected to report to government by the end of September 2018. For more information visit: www.rtirc.gov.au
The Regional Telecommunications Review public hearing will be held in Tamworth:
When: 25 July 2018 @ 10am-11:30am
Where: Ibis Styles on the Cnr of Ebsworth and Bridge St.
Who: Members of the public are encouraged to come along and speak to the Committee. No
formal notice or invitation needs to be extended for members of the public to attend the hearing.
If you can’t make it to the public hearing you can still make a submission to the review. Submissions from individuals, businesses, peak bodies and other interested organisations are welcome.
How can you make a submission?
You can have your say online through the Department of Communications and the Arts website.
Or submissions can be mailed to:
2018 Regional Telecommunications Review Secretariat
Department of Communications and the Arts
GPO Box 2154
CANBERRA ACT 2601
All submissions close Sunday 5 August 2018 at 5pm (AEST)