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DAN TEHAN MP
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR WANNON
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
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LABOR SCRAPS REGIONAL CONNECTIVITY PROGRAM IN SOUTH WEST

March 18, 2024

The Albanese Labor Government is cutting over $15.5 million in funding from internet services in Birregurra and Timboon.

The Labor Government has axed the Round 1 projects of the Regional Connectivity Program (RCP) which was established by the Coalition Government to improve NBN access and provide faster, more affordable internet to regional Australia.

Federal Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said “People living in regional Australia deserve access to fast, reliable internet for their work, education and entertainment.

“The Albanese Labor Government is treating people who live outside the capital cities as second-class citizens.

“The Government cannot justify scrapping this funding which is critical to regional Victoria. Residents, who have been waiting years for these upgrades, have not been consulted nor even informed of the cuts.

“RCP was designed to solve rural connectivity problems. It would have encouraged population growth in regional Victoria, supported growth in tourism, health and agriculture, enabled improved access to education and telehealth services in the communities, and encouraged city dwellers to move to regional Victoria,” Mr Tehan said. “This is another broken promise from Labor which will hit rural Victorians in need.”

Shadow Communications Minister David Coleman said Labor’s scrapping of the projects in Victoria comes after the Minister personally hand-picked locations in Labor seats for improved mobile coverage under the Mobile Black Spot Program.

“The Auditor-General is now investigating the Mobile Black Spot Program after Minister Michelle Rowland directed funds into Labor electorates,” Mr Coleman said.

“In Round 6 of the program, the Minister supported only three projects going to Victoria out of a total of 54, and all of the Victorian funds went to Labor seats. NSW got 27 projects, and again, every single one was in Labor seats.

“There are serious questions for the Albanese Government to answer over its handling of the Mobile Black Spot program, and the scrapping of projects in Victoria is another example of how Labor is treating local communities badly when it comes to improving mobile coverage.”

Shadow Emergency Services Minister and Shadow Housing Minister Richard Riordan said, “Victorian Labor has given up on regional Victorians and again is prioritising city projects and city funding rather than ensuring basic communication services are being maintained in our regional communities.”

Media contact | Sandie Gustus 0408 564 232