Share your views on regional telecommunications

Representational Image.
Representational Image.

Member for Eden-Monaro, Kristy McBain, is encouraging people from all parts of Eden-Monaro to share their views on regional telecommunications, focusing on where improvements need to be made, both in everyday life and in the case of future emergencies.

The Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee has released its Issues Paper and Ms McBain is encouraging all Eden-Monaro residents to have their say on the paper and share their views and experiences with telecommunications in regional, rural and remote Australia.

"I know effective and reliable telecommunications is a major concern for people all across Eden-Monaro," Ms McBain said.

"This review only occurs every three years, so this is our chance to help set up the Australian Government's regional telecommunications agenda for the coming years.

"The last review occurred before the bushfires, which means people on the ground will have a lot of important insights about telecommunications in emergencies that need to be shared.

"Covid-19 has also shone a light on the issues regarding telecommunications in our regions. With people travelling less and spending more time at home, it is essential that people have access to reliable telecommunications so they can stay connected.

"Social interactions, telehealth, home-schooling and accessing government information are all reliant on internet or mobile coverage and if this isn't up to scratch, it's just another way that regional communications can be left behind."

The Regional Telecommunications Independent Review committee will be providing a report card as to the state of play in regional telecommunications and will also be providing recommendations to government as to ways in which services in regional areas can be improved, including the use of new and emerging technologies.

"The Issues Paper sets out areas of interest for the review and the main focus is the adequacy of the telecommunications people in regional, rural and remote Australia use on a day to day basis," Ms McBain said.

"I recently hosted a telecommunications meeting in Narooma and it was clear that for many people, everyday telecommunications options are not adequate and not meeting the needs of the community.

"But there are new and emerging technologies that could help, we just need to make sure it is on the agenda for all tiers of government to improve telecommunications in the Eden-Monaro.

"We know how important clear and reliable communication is during and emergency. We need to learn from the past and ensure that our telecommunication services are available when we need them most."

Anyone who wants to have their say is encouraged to register their attendance for the South East NSW and ACT public consultation, which is scheduled for Monday, August 9.

Ms McBain also encouraged Eden-Monaro residents to head to her website and fill out her Mobile Blackspot survey.

"I want to make sure we have a reliable mobile network that can keep us connected, no matter the situation," Ms McBain said.

"The first step in fixing any system is identifying its flaws. This is why I'm asking people to provide me with the details of any mobile blackspots in their area."

Complete the Eden-Monaro mobile blackspot survey here: https://www.kristymcbain.com.au/share-your-ideas/mobile-blackspot-survey/

The Issues Paper, consultation dates, and details on how to make a submission can be found at www.rtirc.gov.au. Written submissions should be lodged by Thursday, 30 September 2021.