Former MP to lead triennial regional telecommunications review

Luke Hartsuyker will chair an independent review into the state of telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote Australia.

Mr Hartsuyker, pictured, is a former Member for the Federal seat of Cowper in NSW, and will be joined on the review committee by Kristy Sparrow, Sue Middleton, Hugh Bradlow, and Michael Cosgrave.

Announcing the appointments this week, Federal Regional Communications Minister Mark Coulton said the five had extensive experience in telecommunications, agriculture, regional business, competition and consumer regulation, and community affairs.

“[With their] broad-ranging knowledge of the telecommunications sector and of regional Australia, they appreciate the needs of regional communities, and they will undertake a thorough examination of regional telecommunication issues that will include an extensive public consultation process,” he said.

The committee has been specifically asked to consider:

  • The effectiveness of government policies and programs relating to regional telecommunications;
  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumers’ access to and usage of telecommunications services in regional communities;
  • Issues relating to service reliability in regional areas;
  • The opportunities arising from emerging telecommunications technologies; and
  • Changes that could be made to further expand digital connectivity in the bush.

The Regional Telecommunications Reviews are conducted every three years under Part 9B of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999.

The Committee will engage with stakeholder groups and regional communities before reporting to the Government with its findings and recommendations by 31 December 2021.

Consultation details will be published shortly. Further information is available on the Regional Telecommunications Review website.