National Farmers' Federation

Regional Tech Hub funding boost to keep the bush connected

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) welcomes today’s announcement by The Hon Michelle Rowland MP to renew funding for the Regional Tech Hub. This vital initiative has helped more than 140,000 people around Australia with free and independent advice on getting connected and staying connected to internet and voice services.

As the current provider, the NFF expresses its gratitude to the Minister and the Australian Government for the opportunity to carry forward this crucial work. The new program is a $6m, three-year investment under the government’s Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia.

The funding boost paves the way for the Hub to embark on a bold and transformative new phase, capable of extending its reach to even more Australians in need.

Key initiatives to be undertaken as part of this expansion include:

  • Delivering a new regional partnership model to drive increased on-ground engagement and reach even more people across regional Australia
  • Creating an expanded information library with resources in on-farm connectivity, business, health and education, Indigenous connectivity, and natural disasters and emergencies resources
  • Transitioning the existing Regional Tech Hub website into an expanded online Connectivity Resource Hub
  • Establishing a new program designed to enhance digital and connectivity literacy, and
  • Strengthening connections with local and state governments, community groups, business chambers, the on-farm connectivity community, and First Nations groups, among others.

NFF CEO Tony Mahar expressed immense pride in the achievements of the Regional Tech Hub since its inception in December 2020, acknowledging the solid foundation it has built throughout the regions.

“The Hub helps people navigate the complex world of connectivity. The overwhelming number of individuals accessing the Hub’s services each year is testament to the high demand for accessible and impartial advice on phone and internet options,” Mr Mahar said.  

Manager of the Regional Tech Hub, Jennifer Medway, agreed, emphasising the importance of maintaining the Hub’s core activities while recognising that the future of the Regional Tech Hub is far from a business-as-usual approach.

“The new three-year plan for the Hub signals an exciting new direction, aligned with the Government’s vision for an expanded service,” stated Ms Medway.  

“Through bold new initiatives, strategic partnerships, and innovative content development, the Hub aims to continue its work to break down barriers, connect communities, and unlock the full potential of rural and regional Australia through supporting improved connectivity,” she said.

The renewed program for the Regional Tech Hub commences 1 July, with existing online resources and the free 1300 helpline available now.

As it embarks on this exciting new chapter, the Hub invites individuals, businesses, and community leaders to join forces in shaping a brighter, digitally empowered future for rural, regional and remote Australia.

“Together, we can build more digitally connected regions, ensuring no one is left behind. Better connectivity is only a phone call away, so reach out to the Hub and start the conversation now,” Ms Medway said.

For further information, please contact:

Regional Tech Hub

Phone: 1300 081 029

Website: www.regionaltechhub.org.au

Email: helpdesk@regionaltechhub.org.au  

About the Regional Tech Hub

The Regional Tech Hub supports people living and working anywhere in rural, regional, and remote Australia by providing free and independent factual information and troubleshooting advice on internet and voice options. The program is administered by the National Farmers’ Federation with a $6m, three-year grant from the Australian Government. For more information, visit www.regionaltechhub.org.au.