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The Andrews Labor Government is investing $1.2 million to connect more residents, visitors and businesses in the Shepparton region by partnering with the City of Greater Shepparton to extend the free public Wi-Fi network beyond the central business district.

“As one of the state’s largest regional centres, Shepparton deserves to have access to free world-class Wi-Fi. This is a strong investment in Shepparton’s digital economy. It will enhance connectivity for residents, businesses and visitors.”

Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy Philip Dalidakis

The project will help boost the region’s visitor economy and enhance digital inclusion by connecting people in the places where they gather such as education precincts, Neighbourhood Houses, YouthSPOTs, parks and reserves.

The Labor Government will work with the City of Greater Shepparton to determine which locations will be included in the pilot.

“We’re investing in digital connectivity improvements here in the Shepparton region to create opportunities beyond the town centre that will help this area to grow and thrive. Labor is delivering the connectivity that residents and businesses in Shepparton deserve, breaking down the digital divide, and helping make greater Shepparton a great place to live, work and do business.”

Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford

Shepparton is one of the two locations where new Wi-Fi pilots are being delivered by the Labor Government through the $45 million Connecting Regional Communities Program, the other being Geelong.

Both projects build on Victoria’s existing free public Wi-Fi pilots in the Melbourne, Bendigo and Ballarat central business districts which have been used over 23 million times since being launched in September 2016.

Work to extend Shepparton’s free public Wi-Fi network is expected to start in the second-half of 2018 and be completed in the second-half of 2019.

“We have shown time and time again that we support connectivity in regional Victoria – this investment will ensure more people in the Shepparton area have the connectivity they need and deserve.”

Member for Northern Victoria Region Mark Gepp

Extending the Shepparton free public Wi-Fi network is one of the initiatives that the Labor Government is delivering to improve digital connectivity across regional Victoria.

The Labor Government is also working closely with the Goulburn Regional Partnership and the wider community on the development of the region’s Digital Plan, due to be finalised later this year.

For more information, visit economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/connecting-victoria.