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Harbour ISP business manager Stacey Pound and director Melissa Tym support local communities and lobby for change.

Harbour ISP business manager Stacey Pound and director Melissa Tym support local communities and lobby for change.

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Harbour ISP delivers internet, mobile, voip to customers across NSW.

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Harbour ISP employs local people in regional Australia as well as enabling contractors and staff to work remotely from their rural and regional home.

We support local community initiatives through sponsorship and participation, such as the ‘Pink Up Mudgee’ to support the McGrath foundation regional breast cancer nursing, local equestrian clubs.

Harbour ISP lobbies the government regularly. We lobby the ACCC for fairer conditions for regional users of nbn services. And we lobby NBN Co to reduce cost and increase data allowance for satellite services.

At Harbour ISP, we put our staff through training courses to gain further education. We work with regional employment agencies to hire long-term unemployed, or older or juniors with no previous work experience.

We have supported the Australian farmer promoting online education for regional and remote people. Visit theaustralianfarmer.com

Harbour ISP supports field days such as the Mudgee Small Farm and the Australian National Field days at Orange.

And we directly pass through any cost reductions or data allowance increased from NBN Co.

What is your company doing that sets it apart from others in the industry?

We are ensuring that our company stays in country NSW where it was established.

We employ people who use our services and as such are able to offer a high level of customer support to other regional users.

We fully passed on the nbn data increase (data allowances) for satellite plan.

How can Australia grow its agriculture sector?

Australia can do this in three ways:

  • By supporting infrastructure that will enable digital technologies to be enhanced and made readily available and affordable for all remote and regional people. 
  • By supporting lobbying to local members, government departments and NBN Co.
  • By addressing the data drought in regional and remote Australia.

What have been the game-changers in the agricultural industry in recent years?

Recent game-changes include:

  • An increase in livestock commodity prices.
  • Access to technology to support innovation in agricultural practice.
  • Reduced cost of internet access. There have been increased access to data usage and performance to enable producers to access resources online, for example, SheepConnect webinars – rather than travelling distances to a field day – and AuctionsPlus for livestock sales and purchases.

What are the major economic challenges in rural and regional areas?

  • Variability in seasonal rainfall.
  • Access to technology due to limitations on IT infrastructure in rural and regional areas.
  • Global politics and policy such as the Trans Pacific Partnership removing tariffs on Australian commodity exports.
  • High value of agricultural land making it difficult for young people or newcomers to go onto the land.
  • Corporate agriculture impact on the social impact on rural communities.

How can these challenges be tackled or overcome?

This is a great question with no simple answers.

Improved seasonal forecasting and modelling would help manage the risk of rainfall and seasonal variability.

Businesses need to lobby government to allocate resources and encourage innovation and improve IT infrastructure.

There needs to be education awareness and connectivity via the internet.

What are the major social challenges faced by people in rural and regional areas?

The biggest challenge is farm family succession.

Corporate agriculture has a social impact on rural communities as the trend is for families to leave the district when corporate agriculture buys a family farm.

Mental health of business owners and employees in the agricultural sector.

How can these challenges be tackled or overcome?

  • Encourage corporate agriculture to support their local community.
  • Education online to make resources known to all members of the family.

What are the major health challenges faced by people in rural and regional areas?

  • Distance and cost.
  • Lack of high quality facilities.
  • Mental Health.
  • On farm accidents (particularly tractors and ATVs).

How can these be tackled?

  • Lobbying government for resources.
  • Educational resources online and face to face.
  • Upgrade hospital and medical facilities.
  • Provide incentives for practioners to go bush.

How can businesses attract young people back to rural and regional areas?

  • Jobs and access to higher education.
  • Career advancement.
  • Supporting local community initiatives.
  • Social networking for young employees.

Success stories

We’ve completed three video case studies of how Harbour ISP has helped customers accelerate business and keep in touch with family abroad.

  • Visit harbourisp.com.au/skymuster-testimonials
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