1 October, 2020
Farmers stranded with second-rate internet connections
"Beef cattle production is at the heart of this industry but many of our producers have some of the slowest and least-reliable broadband connections."
A $3.5 billion NBN upgrade in the upcoming federal budget needs to be shared fairly with all Australians, is the call from the Cattle Council of Australia, who is urging the Commonwealth to commit to an equitable plan for upgrading the NBN’s fibre optic network.
Cattle Council President Tony Hegarty said the Commonwealth was yet to produce a delivery plan and should focus the investment where there are the biggest shortfalls.
“It stands to reason our most important industries should have good broadband,” Mr Hegarty said.
“The red meat production, processing and retail business is worth $72.5 billion and hires 434,000 people.
“Beef cattle production is at the heart of this industry but many of our producers have some of the slowest and least-reliable broadband connections.
“The beef supply chain needs good connectivity from the outback to city supermarkets. But many of our producers have to sit at their computers for a long time before they can get a connection.
“I urge the federal government to invest this money in removing the worst bottlenecks. Rural, regional and remote Australians should not be saddled with second-rate services."
Mr Hegarty said upgrading and extending fibre in the regions would take pressure off wireless connections.
“Rural Australia, and particularly the beef industry, will be vital in getting the national economy back on track," he said.
“Investment in high-quality broadband will make new technology available to producers, improving sustainability, quality assurance and returning economic benefits to the nation.
“21st century connections will improve traceability and providence so consumers can electronically trace the meat on their plate back to the farm it came from.
“The beef business has been doing a lot lifting in this economy and that should be recognised.”