Jones: Federal budget falls short
Federal Opposition regional communications representative Stephen Jones said he believed the federal budget has revealed a government failure to address regional communications.
Mr Jones said there was no ‘new’ money for mobile-phone black spots and nothing in the budget to improve National Broadband Network services.
“Just a day before the budget Member for Lyne David Gillespie said he hoped to see new money for additional mobile black spots. We now know that hope is dashed,” he said.
“The message regional Australians can take away from the budget is that the Liberal and National parties appear to have given up.
“They appear to have abandoned the Mobile Black Spot Program and any attempts to address the growing digital divide between urban and regional communities.” Mr Jones said the government was happy to support big business with ‘an $80-billion tax handout’ but ‘failed to provide any new money to address connectivity issues across regional Australia’.
“With no new infrastructure spending, no new funding for mobile black spots and the ongoing legacy of faults, failures and poor service thanks to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s copper-nbn, regional Australians are right to ask: what’s in this budget for them?” he said.
Mr Jones said Regional Communications Minister Senator Bridget Mckenzie had delivered ‘nothing’ in the budget.
“Nor have her National Party colleagues who have repeatedly called for the continuation of the Mobile Black Spot Program but come up empty,” he said.