Stronger and reliable connectivity in the Limestone Coast is now guaranteed with the Federal Government unveiling its $15 million investment into a national first program to boost coverage within the Limestone Coast that has brought together the State Government, six of the seven local governments, the South Australian Forest Products Association along with Telstra.
“This announcement is the last piece of the puzzle and represents a huge win for the Limestone Coast region which has received the backing of the already pledged $5.5 million by the State Government, along with financial investments from majority of the Local Governments of the Limestone Coast, Telstra and the South Australian Forest Products Association, who have all worked together to deliver this historic project”, said Mr Nathan Paine, Chief Executive Officer of South Australian Forest Products Association.
“Once delivered, the Limestone Coast will be the most connected up region in the nation, as 27 new mobile base stations will be installed throughout the region, expanding the 4G coverage by almost 2,500 square kilometres”, continued Mr Paine.
“This a momentous day for the region and the forest industries who have worked incredibly hard with all levels of Government, corporate entities and industry groups to improve the livelihoods and public safety of those living or travelling through the regions”, said Mr Paine.
“This project will improve regional equity, productivity and increase the resilience of communication services and public safety. It will be bridging the gap between metropolitan and regional South Australia, and will drive economic growth, social equity and ensure everyone in our regions has access to information and digital opportunities”, said Mr Paine.
“For forestry, connectivity and quick access to data will not just improve the productivity levels of forest and timber industries but will drive the next generation of technological advancement, whether that be autonomous vehicles, better mapping our estate, improved fire detection or increased domestic manufacturing to name just a few – essentially embracing a future of digital forests”, continued to Mr Paine.
“This is not only crucial for road users and public safety, but for the forest industries in the event of a bushfire. Connectivity adds another layer of bushfire protection for the South East agricultural industries, who can act quicker in their response to bushfires and minimise the risk to surrounding communities”, continued Mr Paine.
“This is a historic milestone for the South East, and would not be achieved without the collaborative efforts of Minister Clare Scriven with support from Member for Mount Gambier, Troy Bell and Member for MacKillop Nick McBride. Their support for this program which has been driven by Michael Patterson, State Manager for Telstra has helped bring this concept into reality. This really is a perfect Christmas gift for those living in the regions”, concluded Mr Paine.