"Regions need more communications infrastructure, not less," she said.
During times of regional disaster, "communications were so critical," she said. "Those ringing for help, people trying to find reassurance that their loved ones were safe and our brave first responders who relied on communication to perform what was being asked of them."
"Our regions need more telecommunications investment, better connectivity, and improved services – and the proposed Telstra/TPG network merger is a very big step backward," she stated.
Berejiklian states that improved outcomes will arise only from investing in more communications infrastructure and asserts "this is the opposite of what Telstra and TPG are proposing."
She says organisations wishing to seize the advantages of emerging technology must be able to access it affordably, and that a lack of competition will remove downward pressure on prices and ultimately stifle innovation.
"The pandemic saw a diverse range of businesses start up and grow in the regions, overcoming the 'tyranny of distance'. Many innovative businesses have created new job opportunities and provided a much-needed boost to local economies whose traditional industries were hampered by natural disasters. Communications and connectivity have been critical to this process," she said.
Optus has published its concerns with the proposed network merger online.