FEDERAL ELECTION

Senator Bridget McKenzie visits Forrest electorate ahead of May 21 federal election

Regional visit: Senator Bridget McKenzie visits Bunbury to make two funding announcements within the seat of Forrest. She is pictured with Liberal candidate for Forrest Nola Marino. Picture: Jemillah Dawson.
Regional visit: Senator Bridget McKenzie visits Bunbury to make two funding announcements within the seat of Forrest. She is pictured with Liberal candidate for Forrest Nola Marino. Picture: Jemillah Dawson.

Under a Coalition Government, Busselton and Harvey will receive an upgrade to its telecommunications services.

Senator and minister for regionalisation and regional communication Bridget McKenzie was on the campaign trail with Liberal candidate for Forrest Nola Marino ahead of the May 21 federal election.

Minister McKenzie made two announcements, including $1.6 million for two new fixed wireless sites and upgrades to existing sites to improve broadband services.

"I'm very pleased that residents, businesses and visitors to the Busselton and Harvey regions will soon be able to enjoy the benefits and opportunities that these projects will bring in terms of improved digital connectivity to support their community," Minister McKenzie said.

She said it was a record investment by the Coalition because they understood the importance of being able to live and work from anywhere.

"The topographical issues of this region means it needs a bespoke solution," Minister McKenzie said.

"I heard today that folks live within a couple of kilometres of a tower and can't get reception because of structures such as trees etc are in the way."

The minister told the Mail it was new funding which had been budgeted for and would see 5,000 homes and businesses in the Harvey area benefit and 1500 in the Busselton area.

Minister McKenzie and Ms Marino met with local government representatives for a business roundtable to discuss the Coalition's accelerator program.

Roundtable: Senator Bridget McKenzie with Nola Marino and South West local government representatives. Picture: Jemillah Dawson.

Roundtable: Senator Bridget McKenzie with Nola Marino and South West local government representatives. Picture: Jemillah Dawson.

"Through the $2 billion Regional Accelerator Program, the Federal Government will work closely with regional centres, like Bunbury and Busselton, to bring forward their proposals for catalytic region-shaping investments that will strengthen and grow their local economies, create high-skilled, well-paid jobs and advance their strategic advantages," Minister McKenzie said.

She said the program was different to traditional regional development investments because this one focused on specific regions that wanted to take the next step.

"It's less about specific projects and more about how we package up a proposal for private investment to want to set up here in Bunbury or Busselton and how we look at our unique advantage that makes us different to other regional centres," Minister McKenzie said.

"Then gov can say we can help you grow."

Ms Marino said she was pleased with the announcements.

"The Greater Bunbury and Busselton areas have a wealth of talented, innovative and enterprising business people, with a strong history in many sectors including manufacturing, resource processing, transport, applied technology and design, construction, agribusiness, food and forestry fibre processing," Mrs Marino said.