Government committee looks at how to get businesses to go bush

INTERNET speeds need to be improved to encourage more businesses to come to regional areas, a Federal Government committee sitting in the Central Tablelands was told on Monday.

PUBLIC HEARING: Select Committee chairman Dr John McVeigh.

PUBLIC HEARING: Select Committee chairman Dr John McVeigh.

The Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation, headed by MP Dr John McVeigh, sat at Orange as part of public hearings throughout Australia.

Committee member and Victorian MP, Cathy McGowan, said they wanted to find the best path for regional development for the next 50 years.

“We want a national strategy,” she said.

Orange City Council’s director of corporate and commercial services Kathy Woolley said regional internet speeds need to be increased.

“Anecdotally, I know of an architecture business who wants to work regionally, but until the telecommunications is good enough, [it] means that person can’t move from Sydney,” she said.

She said it was a five year decision for businesses to commit to moving from Sydney.

“In the last five years our telecommunications hasn’t grown enough to get that tipping point sufficiently progressed to mean that people will make that decision to shift.

“There is an opportunity there for more people to do that.”

She said the speeds in some parts of the Central West were “terrible.”