Queensland Senator Pauline Hanson has called for the Government to ‘please explain’ why an application to build an international broadband submarine cable connecting the Sunshine Coast to the United States, the Pacific and Asia has been placed in abeyance.
The call comes off the back of meetings with Sunshine Coast Deputy Mayor Tim Dwyer, Buderim MP and Queensland One Nation leader Steve Dickson, and Council staff who met with Senator Hanson August 3, 2017 to state their case and seek support for the project that was first applied for in July 2015.
Senator Hanson has facilitated a meeting between Communications Minister Mitch Fifield, representatives from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson, Tuesday to see if they can get the proposal back on track.
“This is a vital piece of nation building infrastructure that would mean better internet speeds and a huge boost to economic potential for Queensland - It should go ahead without delay,” Senator Hanson said.
Senator Hanson also pointed out that the proposal had been supported by none other than Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during his time as Communications Minister in the Abbott Government.
“It was Malcolm Turnbull who pointed out that if Australia continues to rely on Sydney, which has four of the five international cables connecting Australia to the rest of the world, we are putting the country at risk of major economic disruptions,” Senator Hanson said.
“By connecting the Sunshine Coast and Queensland to submarine cable, Queensland will no longer be forced to rely on land connections from Sydney, boosting the economic potential of all of Australia and at the same time addressing a major national security risk.”
Senator Hanson explained that she would be speaking with the Government about possible amendments to Schedule 3A of the Telecommunications Act 1997 to assist the Sunshine Coasts Councils request for a declaration of a submarine cable protection zone.