Question on Notice No. 275

19 Jun 2012 12:00 AMMichael Hart

MR HART asked The Minister For Science, Information Technology, Innovation And The Arts (MS BATES)—



Will the Minister outline what investigation has been done into the viability and

economic benefit that would be achieved if Queensland was to connect to the Coral

Sea International submarine cable through a Gold Coast connection point, and if

nothing at this point has been done then if it will be investigated?



Currently existing international sub-sea cables terminate predominantly in Sydney

with two other termination points at Perth and Port Hedland.

In 2009, Pipe Networks Limited, now a part of the TPG telecommunications group,

laid a 6,900km AU$200 million sub-sea optical fibre cable (called PPC-1) between

Sydney and Guam international telecommunications hub, which has numerous subsea

optical fibre cable links to the United States. PPC-1 became operational on 8

October 2009.

The PPC-1 cable route follows the eastern seaboard from Sydney up to a point off

southern Queensland, where it then heads towards Papua New Guinea and then to

Guam. As part of the installation, Pipe Networks installed a branching unit off the

Gold Coast to allow a branch cable to be brought ashore in Queensland, if considered

viable from a business investment perspective by the installer.

In August 2009, the then Queensland Government Chief Information Office (QGCIO)

commissioned a benefit assessment study into the cable landing on the Gold Coast.

The then Government subsequently decided to defer any funding consideration of the

proposal for two years.

A feasibility study into the submarine cable spur from the PPC-1 cable to the Gold

Coast was endorsed by the Gold Coast City Council on 17 October 2011.

In November 2011, the former Mayor of the Gold Coast City Council wrote to the

then Premier of Queensland requesting involvement in the Gold Coast submarine

cable project and provided the Gold Coast City Council feasibility study.

The Queensland Government’s review of this feasibility study showed that, although

technically achievable, tangible benefits from the proposed cable had not been

quantified in this study.



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