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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Palaszczuk Government helps connect remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Wednesday, August 23, 2017

    Palaszczuk Government helps connect remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

    Queensland’s remote and regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Wujal Wujal and Ayton are set to benefit from improved digital connectivity after receiving $274,000 in Palaszczuk Government funding.

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said today (Wednesday) this new backhaul capacity upgrade will solve current issues with inadequate telecommunications facilities.

    “The Wujal Wujal and Ayton communities have suffered far too long with a poor telecommunications service that impacts on service delivery, community safety and the ability to seize economic opportunities,” Ms Enoch said.

    “Wujal Wujal is a vulnerable community and earlier this year, the community lost telecommunications access for a period of eight days due to extreme weather conditions.

    “The Palaszczuk Government is providing funding to support much needed infrastructure that will increase the speed of bandwidth solutions in the region.

    “This extra capacity will enable government agencies to better service the community, enable the local council to connect their community Wi-Fi solution to the internet and improve mobile phone coverage for residents.

    Wujal Wujal Mayor Desmond Tayley welcomed the Palaszczuk Government's commitment to finding a solution to improve current connectivity issues in the region.

    “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living in remote communities face challenges in accessing basic telecommunications services due to our small and remote population, the cost of deploying telecommunications infrastructure, and harsh environmental conditions,” Mr Tayley said.

    “Our region experiences slow and poor telecommunications services and this funding will increase the speed of our existing networks.”

    Ms Enoch said the Queensland Government has previously committed $251,000 in co-funding to secure a mobile tower for Ayton under the Commonwealth Mobile Black Spot Program.

    “This tower is due to be installed in 2018 and will provide much needed coverage for the community,” Ms Enoch said.

    “However, the dense and hilly terrain in the area means there are some areas that will not receive coverage from the new tower. This new backhaul capacity upgrade will enable a 4G small cell to be installed to boost coverage to the section of Ayton which was not in the planned coverage footprint of the tower.”

    Following consultation with Telstra, the Queensland Government will use the funding to upgrade microwave radio links that provide telecommunications connectivity to the Wujal Wujal and Ayton communities. This will enable higher speed data and internet services to be provided to the Wujal Wujal community, and provide capacity for the 4G small cell in Ayton.

    ENDS

    MEDIA 0412 393 909