1. Who is on the Committee?
Six members have been appointed to the Committee by the Minister for Regional Communications, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, including Mr Sean Edwards (Chair), Ms Wendy Duncan, Ms Johanna Plante, Ms Robbie Sefton, Ms Kylie Stretton and Mr Paul Weller.
2. Why were these Committee members appointed?
The Committee Chair and members all have experience in regional and/or telecommunications matters. The Committee also provides a broad geographical representation, with members from South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.
3. Why was the Committee established?
The Committee is established by Part 9B of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 to conduct an independent review into telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia every three years.
4. Are there Terms of Reference for the review?
Yes. The Terms of Reference are available on the About the Review page.
5. What issues did the Committee look at?
The review provided an opportunity for people living in regional, rural and remote areas to have their say about the telecommunications issues that affect them.
In conducting the review, the committee had a broad remit to consider whether people in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia have equitable access to telecommunications services.
The committee looked at a number of issues, including maximising the economic and social benefits that digital connectivity offers regional communities, both now and into the future.
6. Will there be a public consultation process?
The committee released an issues paper on 7 June 2018 seeking to gain a better understanding of the ways regional Australians use telecommunications services. The committee consulted extensively, holding 22 public face-to-face consultations across Australia. The committee also attended three national conferences and an Indigenous Focus day organised by the Broadband for the Bush Alliance. A full list of the public consultation locations and dates are available on the Consultations page.
7. How were the consultation locations chosen?
The consultation locations were chosen to cover a broad geographical area, including sessions across regional Australia.
Individuals, businesses and community groups were also able to have their say by making a comment or submission online through the website.
8. When did the Committee provide its report to the Government?
The Committee reported to the Minister for Regional Communications on 30 September 2018.
9. What are the next steps after the review?
The Government is required to table the Committee report within 15 sitting days of receiving it and is required to respond to the report’s recommendations within six months of receiving the report.