3 February 2024

Former WA minister Alannah MacTiernan to lead review of regional telecommunication needs

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Alannah MacTiernan was a member of the West Australian Parliament for 20 years and Federal Parliament for three years. Photo: Alannah MacTiernan Facebook.

Former West Australian Minister for Regional Development, Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan has been appointed by the Federal Government to lead its 2024 Regional Telecommunications Review.

Ms MacTiernan will lead the 2024 Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee, which also includes Kristy Sparrow, Fiona Nash, Dr Jessa Rogers and Ian Kelly.

Ms MacTiernan was a West Australian state parliamentarian from 1993 to 2010, and again from 2017 to 2023. She has held the ministerial portfolios of Planning and Infrastructure; Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; State Development; Jobs and Trade; and Hydrogen Industry.

She has also held the shadow portfolios of Labour Relations; Legislative Council Spokesperson on Housing and Construction; Construction Industry; Housing Construction; Transport; Planning; Fair Trading; Regional Development; Strategic Infrastructure; and Climate Change.

She was also the Federal Member for Perth from 2014 to 2017.

The Regional Telecommunications Review occurs every three years and is described as an opportunity to examine the existing and future telecommunication needs of regional, rural and remote communities across Australia.

The committee has been tasked with examining the adequacy of regional Australia’s telecommunications, and from April will take submissions from people in regional, rural and remote areas.

The committee will also consider the unique needs of First Nations communities, the effectiveness of existing investment programs, the potential of emerging technologies, the Universal Services Obligations, and the suitability of telecommunications during emergencies.

It is scheduled to report its findings to the government by 31 December, 2024.

Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland said all Australians deserved access to quality communications service – no matter where they lived or worked.

“The Regional Telecommunications Review is an important opportunity for Australians living outside our major cities to share their experiences with government and industry alike,” she said.

“The government is pleased Ms MacTiernan has agreed to lead the review.

“She is highly qualified as a former Regional Development minister in Western Australia, and is a passionate advocate for rural, regional and remote communities.

“The Independent Review Committee also has the right experience and expertise to deliver a comprehensive assessment of the state of regional telecommunications in Australia.

“I look forward to receiving the committee’s final report at the end of this year, and I strongly encourage communities to have their say to ensure we get the best communications outcomes for rural and regional Australians.”

Regular updates on committee activities, including the consultation process, will be available at www.rtirc.gov.au/.

Original Article published by Andrew McLaughlin on Riotact.

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