Harrietville residents will gain faster internet and Lake Eildon communities will benefit from more reliable mobile phone coverage following round three of the Federal Government’s Regional Connectivity Program.
Independent Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines has welcomed more than $2.36 million to establish Fibre to the Premise NBN in Harrietville and more than $900,000 to build a mobile phone tower at Kennedys Point to improve service coverage on Lake Eildon.
“This is a big win for these regional communities who have raised their concerns about poor connectivity and how it impacts their daily lives. I’m pleased that the government has listened and acted,” Dr Haines said.
Dr Haines supported both the applications for federal funding as part of her longstanding work with her Indi Telecommunications Advisory Group (ITAG).
“The existing mobile phone infrastructure around Lake Eildon cannot cope with the added demand of summer holidaymakers, resulting in patchy service for local communities during bushfire season. The funding of a new mobile tower will be a welcome relief for the residents of Bonnie Doon,” Dr Haines said.
“As an Independent MP, I have successfully advocated for communities across Indi to receive funding for better phone and internet connection – the Kennedys Point tower is the thirteenth mobile phone tower to have been funded since I was elected in 2019.
“With improved internet connectivity, Harrietville residents will be better supported to study, run businesses from home, access telehealth appointments and enjoy the modern conveniences that people in the big cities take for granted.
“Connectivity is critical during natural disasters and I’ve worked hard to improve phone and internet coverage across Indi’s many valleys and vast high country to help communities stay informed and connected.
“Almost one in three Australians live outside the major cities, and as regional Australians we know and understand how connectivity issues and the digital divide holds us back at times. The delivery of good phone and internet services should not be dependent upon where we live.
“By working with individual communities and local councils, we have had significant success in securing funding to improve regional phone and internet coverage. But there is still much work to do.”
More information on Dr Haines’ work on improving connectivity can be found here.