June 10, 2021

People living in Ecklin South, Halls Gap, Rennick and Scotts Creek can now look forward to new and improved telecommunications services thanks to the Morrison Government’s Regional Connectivity Program (the RCP).

Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, and Regional Communications Minister, Mark Coulton have announced a further four projects areas that will benefit from new and improved digital connectivity under the program.

“I’m thrilled that residents and businesses in these locations will enjoy the benefits and opportunities that improved digital connectivity brings,” Mr Tehan said.

Corangamite Shire Council, Glenelg Shire Council, Northern Grampians Shire Council, business and community members within Ecklin South, Halls Gap, Rennick and Scotts Creek regions have been campaigning for better connectivity in this area, and it’s the Coalition Government that’s delivering it,” Mr Tehan said.

“These projects will provide people in regional Australia access to improved broadband services and data delivering fast, affordable and reliable connectivity.

This will help keep our businesses connected, our families stay in touch and mean we can better access telehealth and online services.”

Federal Regional Communications Minister Mark Coulton said the Government was listening to the needs of regional communities and businesses and was pleased to see the RCP being used to support the design and delivery place-based solutions which solved rural connectivity issues.

“This next tranche of projects under the Regional Connectivity Program will make a difference on the ground for local communities,” Minister Coulton said.

“I am pleased with the quality of projects being put forward which are tailored to the needs of each region and are supported by the community, a result of a collaborative approach between the telecommunications industry, businesses, regional communities and local councils.

“Connectivity – digital and physical – is vital for regional Australia to fulfil its full potential to do business, work and raise a family, no more so than now with the unprecedented interest in people living and working in a regional area.”

“This investment will provide targeted uplifts to connectivity in the regional areas which need it the most, ensuring that more Australians can access high-speed, reliable broadband and mobile services,” Minister Fletcher said.

The Federal Government is contributing a total of $117.4 million (GST inclusive) to the first round of the RCP, generating total new investment of more than $232 million (GST inclusive) through co-contributions from funding recipients, state and territory governments and other third parties, such as local governments, regional businesses and community development organisations.

In addition, the Government has made further funding of $105.8 million available for a second round of the program and will call for applications later this year, following consultation of program guidelines.

The delivery of successful projects under the Program will begin shortly with most projects to be completed by June 2022.

More information about the RCP is available at: communications.gov.au/what-we-do/internet/regional-connectivity-program

Media contact | Cate Mercer-Grant 0408 564 232