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Thursday, 13 September 2007
Page: 124


Mr SLIPPER (9:58 AM) —Not only is the current government of Australia a government for metropolitan areas; it also recognises the importance to Australia of rural, remote and regional areas. The $113 million Clever Networks program, which is part of the $1.1 billion Connect Australia package, is enabling the roll-out of broadband infrastructure and innovative services to the regional and more remote parts of Australia.

I was particularly pleased that recently on the Sunshine Coast we had a visit from the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, the Hon. Helen Coonan. She announced funding of $2.9 million for the Maroochy Shire Council to facilitate business innovation and productivity and to increase service delivery options. There will also be a contribution made by Allegro Networks, the University of the Sunshine Coast and the Maroochy Shire Council totalling $3.4 million. This means that the quality of technology on the Sunshine Coast will substantially improve. It means that, with this sort of broadband on the Sunshine Coast at metropolitan prices, there will be tremendous benefits to a whole range of organisations, including those in the health, research, small business and education sectors. Interestingly enough, the project will use a mix of optical fibre cable. It is a wonderful project.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Barresi)—Order! In accordance with standing order 193, the time for members’ statements has concluded.