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Connecting the Dots: NGAA's Influence Evident in Government's Forward-Thinking Policy for Telecommunications in New Developments

More of Australia’s new housing areas will have mobile coverage, thanks to the Federal Government’s updated ‘Telecommunications in New Developments (TIND) Policy.’ The National Growth Areas Alliance (NGAA) was a key influencer on the policy, advocating for the consideration of mobile infrastructure within new developments in the early planning stages, and its installation by the time new developments are occupied.  NGAA’s submission was drawn from the hard-won lessons of our growth areas, where residents in places such as Clyde North in Victoria, moved in but were unable to make mobile phone calls or connect to the internet. 

Under the new rules, all new housing developments of 50 house lots or more should include consideration of mobile coverage during planning processes. Developers are now required to actively consider the inclusion of mobile infrastructure in new developments to help ensure residents have access to a reliable mobile service when moving into a new home. This new policy would have prevented the pain experienced by City of Cockburn in Western Australia, where Council had had to source and rezone land on behalf of a telecommunications provider so they could install mobile telecommunications infrastructure.

These changes will bring mobile connectivity in line with other utilities such as water, electricity and fixed line telecommunications services. It also emphasises early engagement between developers and stakeholders, echoing a fundamental principle of NGAA's advocacy: genuine collaboration for better community outcomes.

NGAA is pleased to be acknowledged as a key stakeholder, with the Minister for Communications, the Hon. Michelle Rowland MP, expressing gratitude for the Alliance's valuable input and reliance on ongoing feedback during the implementation of the policy. “We are grateful to the Minister for listening and acting on our advice,” states Bronwen Clark, CEO of the NGAA. “Our advocacy rests on the belief that all levels of government must be united in their efforts to creating resilient, liveable, thriving communities.” 

The rush to solve the housing crisis demands early planning for essential infrastructure, including mobile telecommunications. “People need more than just a house; they need reasonable access to employment, education, public and private transport infrastructure, health and other services, and amenities,” states Bronwen Clark. “We will continue to seek funding and delivery of timely infrastructure to meet the needs of our new communities.”

NGAA remains committed to actively engaging with the government, developers, and telecommunication providers to ensure the successful and effective implementation of the TIND policy. By working collaboratively, we can create an environment that prioritises connectivity and contributes to the overall resilience of our communities.

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