Fibre optic link a success in the Outback

Media Release

FN063/2017

05 May 2017

Joint release with:

Coralee O'Rourke

Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland

Ernie Camp

Mayor of Burke Shire Council

Ian Macdonald

Senator for Queensland

  • New fibre optic link between Doomadgee and Burketown has gone live.
  • Improved connection speeds to the internet will improve the lives and economic standing of the region.
  • The Coalition Government invested nearly $2 million through the National Stronger Regions Fund.

The new fibre optic link connecting Doomadgee and Burketown has gone live, with the area now able to access high-speed broadband internet creating a wealth of online opportunities.

Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said improving access to the internet in regional and remote communities was a fundamental priority for the Australian Government.

“I aim to build the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and having access to the internet does just that,” Minister Nash said.

“Internet access is essential for both business and social interaction, and we are proud to be partnering with the state and local government to invest in in improved communications infrastructure for Doomadgee and Burketown.”

Northern-based Government Senator Ian Macdonald, who joined the community today to showcase the improvements, said that access to the radically improved internet connection will have social and economic benefits now and into the future.

“The benefit of this project will be profound. Improved access to the internet will allow local business and industry to improve productivity and boost the local economy,” Senator Macdonald said.

“Everyone in the community will benefit from this project. Children will have greater access to distance education services. Patients will have better access to medical specialists, and families living worlds apart will be able to keep in touch and see loved ones via Skype.”

Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O'Rourke said that the fibre optic link was a feat of regional engineering that will provide better connection to services, which others might take for granted, and will open up more opportunities for rural and remote communities.

“To support employment opportunities we saw 30 jobs created during construction and more excitingly we know further jobs will follow now that it is fully operational,” Mrs O'Rourke said.

Mayor of the Burke Shire Council Ernie Camp said the fibre optic link will be a real boost for business, health, education, emergency services and tourism opportunities in Burketown.

“Burketown will now enjoy comparable and in some cases better connectivity than our urban and coastal counterparts,” Cr Camp said.

“Telecommunications connectivity may be taken for granted in urban areas but for us, this is a critical piece of enabling infrastructure.

“It means local businesses, emergency and health services, schools, residents and visitors finally have the tools they need to be competitive, effective and stay connected with the rest of the world.”

This fibre optic link will mean that the phone tower in Burketown will be upgraded to 4G, and the local telecommunications exchange will be able to delivery ADSL 2+ services to end users in the area, promoting economic development in the region.

The project was jointly funded by the Coalition Government and the Queensland Government, both providing $1,927,430.