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Mallee communications.

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John Forrest MP The Nationals Member for Mallee

Phone (03) 5032 4510 Fax (03) 5032 9407

Tuesday, 14 September 2004

MALLEE COMMUNICATIONS John Forrest, The Nationals Federal Member for Mallee today said he was proud of his record of improving the communications network for North West Victoria.

There is more to do however, particularly in the Southern Wimmera and parts of the Gannawarra Shire.

“The next challenge is the roll out of broadband to the electorate. This has been happening around our major regional centres and this week’s launch of ADSL by health providers GRHANet, in partnership with Telstra Country Wide in Nhill, Jeparit and Warracknabeal will provide an opportunity for these smaller communities to also gain access,” said Mr Forrest.

The Federal Governments National Communications Fund is providing funding to major health networks in North West Victoria. This will provide hospitals, community health centres and other related health groups access to information management and communication technology which is critical to the provision of health care and economic growth of regional communities.

“I have also worked long and hard on the issue of mobile phone coverage for my electorate, and there is no doubt that it has dramatically improved over the last few years. It is true that there are still a few ‘black holes’. I will continue the hard work to ensure these areas will also gain access through the use of alternative technologies.”

“I am absolutely committed to rural people having the same access to communications technologies as their city cousins and I will continue to work hard in Canberra and with Telstra Country Wide, Optus and Vodaphone to ensure this happens.”

Media Contact Sally Turvey (03) 5032 4510 -ends-