Clear communications from Elliston to Wudinna

Media Release

FN174/2017

12 October 2017

Joint release with:

Kyam Maher

Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation
Minister for Science and Information Economy

Kym Callaghan

Chairman of the District Council of Elliston

Rowan Ramsey

Federal Member for Grey

  • Contract signed for Elliston to Wudinna Fibre Radio Communications System
  • New system will deliver faster and more reliable internet connectivity
  • Made possible by Coalition Government investment of $1.3 million through the Building Better Regions Fund

Residents of the Grey electorate will soon have access to high-speed internet with the installation of fibre optics to be rolled out between Elliston to Wudinna following sign-off of the final contract today.

Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said the project will transform community communications in the region, open access to a range of services in the health, government, and agriculture sectors, and will enable businesses to diversify their markets.

“The world has never been more connected, and under the Government's new $500 million Building Better Regions Fund we are delivering a modern, reliable, and high-speed internet link that will serve the community for many years,” Minister Nash said.

“I aim to build the kind of communities our children and grandchildren want to either stay in or come back to, and providing good communications does that.”

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the project was brought about by the great partnership between Telstra and the Federal Government with assistance from the Elliston District Council and the State Government and will address long-standing communication issues for Elliston residents.

The project will deliver a new radio fibre telecommunication system between Wudinna and Elliston and includes the installation of optic fibre, transmission equipment and tower upgrades.

“The project addresses a critical need for upgraded communications technology and will ensure Elliston has the same level of service as every other major centre in SA. Coupled with the new NBN service it will provide the best opportunities in education, health service delivery, business, government services and the community's ability to connect online,” Mr Ramsey said.

“The project will deliver economic benefits through improved communications technology for the region.

 “The Coalition Government is providing half of the funding required for the project from its Building Better Regions Fund which will replace the current overloaded radio link between Elliston and Warramboo.

“As an added bonus, it will also improve local ADSL internet services.

 “While home and business internet services are being upgraded through the NBN, the project will address issues across landline and mobile, with the bonus of better ADSL internet for those who elect to not access the NBN.

 “The project will create almost 60 jobs during construction and over 30 ongoing jobs post construction, which will pay dividends for the local economy.”

South Australian Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation Kyam Maher said the project includes the installation of over 35 kilometres of optic fibre between Wudinna and Mount Damper, and Bramfield and Elliston Quarry.

“The project will see the construction and installation of optic fibre, transmission equipment and tower upgrades to the region,” Mr Maher said.

“Many businesses now operate online and it is therefore essential to have high quality access to the internet. This upgrade will increase opportunities for economic diversification through the tourism, mining, oil, gas, fishing, aquaculture and service industries.”

Chairman of the District Council of Elliston Kym Callaghan said the project will mean the communities, schools, hospitals and businesses of the western Eyre Peninsula will be getting the same phone and internet service as the rest of Australia.

“This new infrastructure is a game-changer for our region. We are a small council and community, and we are truly grateful to Senator Nash, the Hon Geoff Brock MP and Telstra for making this great leap forward happen,” Cr Callaghan said.

“Most of all, we thank our local MP, Rowan Ramsey, for taking up this issue over three years ago when he brought the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, then Parliamentary Secretary for Telecommunications to Elliston, to see for himself what we were dealing with.”

This project is jointly funded with the Federal Coalition Government committing $1,341,500, the South Australian Government $100,000, the District Council of Elliston $80,000 and Telstra $1,040,732.