Wednesday, 21 November 2018

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will bring the Victorian free public Wi-Fi network – the largest free outdoor network of its kind in Australia – to the Latrobe Valley as we continue our work to revitalise the region.

Labor is driving a massive construction blitz for the Latrobe Valley – we’re upgrading local roads and rail, modernising local schools and TAFEs, and will deliver the next stage of the Latrobe Regional Hospital rebuild.

The Morwell GovHub is on its way, delivering more jobs right here in the Latrobe Valley, helping to transform the area and driving economic growth. A re-elected Labor Government will also build hundreds of new car parks, with our pipeline of work set to ensure vibrant town centres with busy shops, full cafes and local TAFEs full of students.

The free public Wi-Fi service will allow Latrobe Valley locals, businesses and students to more easily access web-based information, education and e-commerce resources, as well as accessing social media and making video calls.

This will be great for businesses wanting to make the most of the opportunities that web-based e-commerce and tele-conferencing bring, and for students who can undertake their studies anywhere, at the time of their choosing across the roll-out area.

The Labor Government has already invested in free Wi-Fi across areas such as Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong and Shepparton, with 600,000 square metres of coverage provided. In the first nine months of the program in Bendigo and Ballarat there were over one million sessions on the free Wi-Fi.

The Latrobe Valley Wi-Fi rollout continues the Labor Government’s Connecting Regional Communities Program, which received $45 million in the 2017/18 Victorian Budget. This program has also funded projects such as mobile coverage on the state’s five busiest regional rail lines and enhanced broadband projects in regional centres.

A re-elected Labor Government will work with the community and local businesses through the Gippsland Regional Partnership to determine the coverage of free Wi-Fi across the Latrobe Valley.

Labor’s construction blitz is already seeing the creation of over 1,500 construction jobs across the Latrobe Valley. Work on the Wi-Fi project will commence next year, with its completion by the end of 2020.

Quote attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas

“The digital divide is frustrating and holding parts of regional Victorians – that’s why we’re rolling out programs and infrastructure that will bridge the divide. This is about jobs and ensuring regional Victorians are better connected.”

Quote attributable to Labor Candidate for Morwell Mark Richards

“Free Wi-Fi for the Latrobe Valley is fantastic news for locals and helps support our businesses, schools and TAFEs. It’s only Labor that backs the Valley as we work hard to make it a great place to work, live and do business.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“We are continuing our commitment to create greater connectivity, community engagement, business efficiency and pride of place across the Latrobe Valley, and this announcement will make a real and positive difference.”