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Telecommunications for the Cape.

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Telecommunications for the Cape Access to telecommunications in Queensland will increase substantially with more than $20 million allocated for projects in rural and remote areas under the Commonwealth Government's Networking the Nation (NtN) program, the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, announced today.

Queensland's 21 new projects funded under the NtN program in this round are outstanding examples of the benefits this program can deliver to rural, regional and remote communities,' Senator Alston said.

'I am particularly pleased that $3.4 million has been allocated to assist the very remote communities in the Cape York and Thursday Island regions to establish CDMA mobile phone coverage.

'This project will bring a broad range of social, commercial and safety benefits for residents and mobile phone services for the increasing number of tourists in the area.

'Another important project that will bring benefits to communities in the Cape York Peninsula is the Outback Digital Network.

'This $5.2 million project will provide a broadband network, equipment and services to communities in the region. This includes access to videoconferencing facilities and the Internet.

'More than $4.6 million has also been provided to the Local Government Association of Queensland to provide local government services online for communities in regional, rural and remote areas.'

The Queensland projects are part of the $51 million NtN funding announced by the Prime Minister today. Since it was established in 1997, 616 projects totalling more than $289

million have been funded across Australia.

'The positive response to NtN from the community groups, regional development organisations and local councils illustrates the enthusiasm this program attracts and the benefits it provides for rural, regional and remote Australia,' Senator Alston said.

NtN is the Commonwealth Government's five-year Regional Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund. Applications are received from a variety of regional-based groups for projects ranging from mobile telephony through to Internet cafes and training.

For further information visit the NtN website at or free call 1800 674 058. Applications for funding can now be made online through the NtN web site. The next NtN funding round closes on 1 August 2001.

Media contact: Sasha Grebe, Senator Alston's office, 02 6277 7480 126/01 1 July 2001

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