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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 12800

$50 MILLION NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS FUND TO SUPPORT HEALTH AND EDUCATION IN REGIONAL AREAS

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 18/07/2002

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 12800

I am pleased to announce the allocation of $50 million under the Federal Government';s National Communications Fund to projects that will improve health and education services in regional areas across Australia.
By using the latest telecommunications technology these eight projects, covering all states and the Northern Territory, will bring practical benefits to remote and regional communities.
For example it will allow residents in remote areas to “visit” a city medical specialist using video-conferencing for remote diagnosis; it will expand the educational opportunities for school-of-the-air students and others in remote areas; provide new services to indigenous communities and open new opportunities for professional development for people working in regional areas.
The National Communications Fund is one of the key Government initiatives in response to the Telecommunications Service Inquiry (the Besley report). It will help to bridge service and infrastructure gaps in remote parts of Australia .
It is a practical demonstration of the Government';s commitment to improving access to the benefits of telecommunications advances for all Australians, no matter where they live.
The eight projects funded under the NCF are:
 Network Western Australia - $8 million;  The Grampians Rural Health Alliance Network (Victoria) - $8 million;  Health and Education Information Access for Rural and Regional NSW - $8 million;  Northwest and New England Broadband Telecommunications Network - $5.5 million;  NSW and Northern Territory Interactive eLearning - $8 million;  Outbacknet@qld - $ 8 million;  Regional Network Delivering Education Services (SA) - $6 million; and Tasmanian Health and Education Communications Consortium - $3 million.
Each of these projects is a partnership, typically involving state governments, non-government organisations and universities. Cash and in-kind contributions of more than $60 million dollars from the project partners will supplement Commonwealth funding.
In a country as vast as Australia, where 37% of our residents choose to live outside the big cities, telecommunications technology provides new ways of overcoming isolation and the difficulties of distance.
The National Communications Fund will help to ensure that Australians living in regional and remote areas are not left behind by technological advances.

Transcript 12800