Wednesday, 22 June 2022


Connecting Victoria program

Connecting Victoria program

Ms CONNOLLY (Tarneit) (19:02): (6437) My adjournment tonight is for the Minister for Small Business and Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy, and the action that I seek is that the minister join me in Tarneit to talk to small businesses that will benefit from greater mobile reception as part of the Connecting Victoria program. As the minister knows, our government’s $550 million Connecting Victoria program aims to connect businesses with faster and more reliable broadband connections in areas where there are currently blackspots. I am very pleased to say that Tarneit is one of 54 areas across Victoria where this work is taking place to improve broadband coverage for businesses through a new business fibre zone.

Businesses in my community know there is a world of opportunity to be had online through digital initiatives. In the age of online shopping and digital commerce, being online has never been more important, and being online when you are out and about is absolutely critical. We are more reliant than ever on our mobile phones. That is why there is nothing worse than having poor mobile reception and a lack of access to decent internet services. The previous federal government decided to gut our NBN and exclude outer suburban areas like mine from mobile blackspot funding. If you go somewhere nearby, like Point Cook, which is only a couple of kilometres from Tarneit, that was one of the first places to get fibre-to-the-network NBN—but rapidly growing suburbs like Tarneit have missed out.

It has taken us, the Andrews Labor government, to step in and fill this gap by providing Tarneit businesses with the internet speeds that they need and deserve. It might not seem like much, but it is an absolute game changer for my community. I look forward to seeing the minister in Tarneit to talk about the benefits of also improving mobile reception and what that will bring for local businesses and households.