Sunshine Coast’s international cable project receives Labor backing
  • Thursday 09 November 2017
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Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson has welcomed the Queensland Labor Party’s pre-election commitment of a $15 million grant towards the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Submarine Cable Project – one of the six infrastructure priorities identified by Sunshine Coast Council for our region ahead of the November 25 State election.

Mayor Jamieson, who met with Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch in Caloundra today, said the proposed cable project had the potential to transform the Sunshine Coast and broader Queensland economy.

A recently completed feasibility study has estimated the proposed submarine cable and associated facilities would create 864 full-time jobs per annum on the Sunshine Coast and provide a potential economic boost of $927 million to Queensland.

“We are delighted that if re-elected, the Queensland Labor Government has committed to provide this financial support to a project that is not only a game-changer for our Sunshine Coast, but the entire State,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Most people don’t realise how dependent they are on submarine cables – these cables carry 99 per cent of Australia’s international voice and data traffic.

“The volume of international communications through submarine cables is increasing at the rate of 40 per cent every year as the information economy grows.

“As such submarine cables are a vital part of the national infrastructure.

“With all submarine cables on the east coast of Australia landing in Sydney, every time a Queenslander makes an International telephone call, text or accesses the internet it travels via terrestrial networks to Sydney before heading to its international destination.

“We will continue to advocate for a similar commitment from the LNP and other political parties ahead of the election date.

“It will stimulate local business, generate new investment and improve telecommunications diversity to Australia’s east coast as well as adding significant value to the new Maroochydore City Centre – Australia’s only greenfield CBD at this time – now under construction.

“The attraction of technology businesses in particular will deliver access to a greater array of solutions for local businesses and residents.

Mayor Jamieson said on the Sunshine Coast we are focussed on being healthy, smart and creative.

“The smart and creative thing to do is for Queensland to have its own submarine cable,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“It is a vital part of enabling our Sunshine Coast to position itself as Australia’s leading smart city region.”

“This cable will connect Queensland to the rest of the world.

Mayor Jamieson said Sunshine Coast Council would continue to strongly advocate for commitments from all political parties and candidates to its other infrastructure priorities – the North Coast Rail Duplication, Sunshine Coast Light Rail Project, Mooloolah River Interchange, Sunshine Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and University of the Sunshine Coast Indoor Stadium Expansion.

“Our region’s long-standing needs have been overlooked by successive State governments for decades and this State election, now just over two weeks away, provides an opportunity for all candidates to show their true colours and support their region,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“We need clear, unequivocal commitments and State members prepared to fight for an equal share of funding for our region.”

About the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Submarine Cable project

Five international submarine cables currently provide data connectivity from Australia to the rest of the world. 

Four of these cables land in Sydney and the fifth cable lands in Perth. The close proximity of the four existing cables in Sydney poses a significant risk for most of Australia’s existing commercial data centre capacity and internet connectivity.

Sunshine Coast Council, in recognising and acknowledging this risk, has identified the Sunshine Coast as the first viable landing point on the eastern seaboard of Australia (travelling south from Cape York) for a cable that links to Asia and/or to the United States.

Council has mapped a potential submarine cable route and lodged a submission with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) requesting initiation of a declaration for a Cable Protection Zone offshore from the Sunshine Coast.

Council is working closely with the ACMA to ensure its information requirements are satisfied in order to commence the CPZ declaration process. 

Funding from the Federal Government Department of Communications and the Arts has allowed for a detailed project feasibility study to be completed.

The proposed submarine cable and associated facilities will deliver:

 

A potential value of $927 million to the Queensland economy (independent modelling by GQI Consulting Pty Ltd)

$30-40 million per annum in cost savings of national and international backhaul to Sydney

Greater resilience by removing the single point of failure of existing cable in Sydney

The potential to attract a new calibre of investment in technology based enterprises, innovative design and applications development ventures and industries dependent on high volume online transactions.