Applications for the Australian Government’s $53 million Regional Connectivity Program are now open.

Member for Monash, Russell Broadbent welcomed the opening of applications to the program, and encouraged regional development organisations, telecommunications providers, as well as government organisations in Monash to collaborate on projects and apply for funding.

The Program will provide targeted investment in local telco infrastructure projects to maximise economic and social opportunities in regional and remote communities across the country.

“We are taking a ‘place‑based’ approach to investment through the program because we recognise that regions such as West and South Gippsland, Bass Coast and the Latrobe Valley have distinct digital needs and in some cases require customised solutions to complement existing infrastructure,” Mr Broadbent said.

Examples of projects that could be funded under the program include upgrades to mobile infrastructure to improve community access to telehealth, remote education and retail internet and phone services, or the development of enterprise-grade broadband networks to support local agricultural, manufacturing and tourism businesses to increase their online presence.

“Collaboration is the key to this program. We are looking for projects that will provide the most profound benefit to local communities and by joining forces, I’m confident we will see many great solutions come from our rural communities to improve services our people need.

“I encourage applicants to use the Program Noticeboard to share ideas and work together to develop proposals that will improve connectivity for our region and drive benefits for our community,” Mr Broadbent said.

The online Program Noticeboard provides a portal for collaboration where applicants can find and register potential projects, linking regional communities and industry providers.

Applications are open until 20 October 2020 (5:00pm AEDT). The guidelines and application process is available on the Government’s central grants website: www.grants.gov.au