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With a federal election looming, Australia’s major parties have each outlined their communications policies.

Below is a summary of the Coalition (Liberal and the National parties), Labor, and the Australian Greens’ policies and priorities as voters begin heading to the polls.

[Information last updated on 22.04.22]

(Liberal and the National parties)

In response to the 2021 Regional Telecommunications Review, the Coalition has announced $1.3bn investment to improve communications infrastructure and connectivity in regional, rural, and remote Australia, as well as “peri-urban’ communities.

This includes $811.8M towards the Connecting Regional Australia (CRA) initiative, which aims to expand mobile coverage and improve connectivity, resilience and affordability in regional, rural and peri-urban Australia, according to the Minister for Communications.

For small and medium businesses, the government is also backing an investment into the NBN Co’s Business Fibre Initiative. According to a media release from the Liberal party, 850,000 businesses will be eligible to access speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second. Australian businesses in certain Fibre Zones will also be able to request a fibre upgrade to NBN Co’s Enterprise Ethernet. 

$1.8m has also been pledged to the ACCC, to conduct a review of mobile tower access fees. 

Establishment of a Cell Broadcast National Messaging System (CBNMS) to deliver near real time warning messages to mobile phones, to inform the public of emergency and disaster events. 

The Coalition has also recently updated its Digital Economy Strategy. This includes an investment of $22.6m to support 5G innovation. Under the strategy, the government are also looking to reform Australia’s payment system and increase efforts to keep Australians safe online. We’re already seeing this with the introduction of the Online Safety Act.

Furthermore, $4.2m was recently promised to the ABC and the SBS for ongoing support for audio description services. Other critical services for People with Disability including radio and digital media are also supported in this funding package. The SBS has also received funding for extension to non-English language services. 

It was also announced that the federal government will be increasing the total grant funds allocated to the Peri Urban Mobile Program to $28.2m. The funding will be allocated to 66 projects that will allow mobile operators to build new infrastructure that aims to improve the speed and reliability of coverage on urban fringes. 


Federal Labor has pledged to fund an NBN service for 30,000 families currently without a home internet connection for a year.

Labor  has recently unveiled a $650m plan to improve regional telecommunications, following the 2021 Regional Telecommunications review. Under the plan: 

  • $400m will go towards providing multi-carrier mobile coverage on roads with coverage black spots, and in regional communities.
  • $200m towards place-based regional telecommunications projects, such as mobile targeted fibre.
  • $30m to boost on-farm connectivity and wireless extension solutions on the field.
  • $20m will go towards a national audit of mobile coverage to better identify black spots and guide investment properties.
  • Federal Labor has also committed $6 million to the Regional Tech Hub, which provides advice to assist people living in regional areas understand their phone and internet options as well as deal with technical issues. 

According to the Shadow Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, Labor will also invest $3.2bn into the NBN to: 

  • Expand full fibre access for a further 1.5 million homes, including up to 660,000 more premises in regional Australia.
  • Upgrade fixed-wireless to make speeds of 100 Mbps available to all users and expand the coverage of fixed-wireless to a further 120,000 currently satellite-only premises.
  • Boost the monthly data allowance for remaining SkyMuster satellite customers.

Labor is also planning to establish a National Anti-Scam Centre and task a Minister with a direct portfolio of responsibility.


The Greens have pledged to provide free broadband internet access for one million households with a healthcare card, including carers, students, low-income families and the unemployed.

In their Media and Communications Policy, the Greens have stated that:

  • Everyone should have access to a variety of affordable telecommunications.
  • Public ownership of essential communications infrastructure is in the best interests of a democratic society.
  • Net Neutrality is important for an open internet.
  • The government should regulate digital platforms in the public interest and prioritise addressing the underlying harmful business models of digital platforms.
  • Disinformation and misinformation pose a threat to democracy.

The Greens have also said that they want equitable installation of communications infrastructure and phone towers and for the NBN to focus on fibre-to-the-premises to ensure that investments are effective and long-lasting. 

The Greens intend to introduce a Corporate Super-Profits tax to fund these initiatives.

On the Digital Platforms Front, the Greens have mostly been supportive of policies that aim to reign in Big Tech. However, they’ve also voiced concern about legislation like the Online Safety Act.




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