25 June 2015
FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has applauded the announcement that 28 new or upgraded base stations, covering 104 mobile phone blackspots will be funded in the New England Electorate.
“This is a stunning announcement, it sits on the back of the massive invest of the National Broadband Network in the New England electorate and other recent large wins in the Electorate like the $2m in the Bridges to Recovery programme.
“It was merely two weeks ago I was at the Lunatic Hotel in Drake and the number one priority was a mobile phone tower. At Legume and Urbenville in the far north of the Electorate we’re getting mobile phone coverage for all of them.
“At my local pub, the Dungowan Hotel and at places like Woolomin and Duri, the big issue is mobile phone coverage and we’re getting it.
“This is real delivery for our Electorate. Even at Walcha Road near where I grew up, they have long wanted mobile phone coverage, now they’re getting it.”
The announcement of the package represents and investment of nearly $15 million, including $4.24m funding from the Australian Government.
Mr Joyce said the announcement was a fantastic result for the Electorate as there were 200 nominations from the New England Electorate when submissions were called for the Coalition Government’s $100 million dollar Mobile Blackspots programme announced last year.
Mr Joyce said there would be some disappointment among those submissions that missed round 1 but with the announcement of round 2 of the Mobile Black Spot Programme, and Telstra’s commitment to build 200 new 4G mini base stations, there will be further opportunities to meet unmet demand and provide coverage to more locations around regional and remote Australia.
He said the telecommunications providers Telstra and Vodafone will establish between them 28 new base stations in the Electorate which will cover the 104 blackspots.
“Telstra has announced it will establish new base stations at Balala, Bonshaw, Drake, Dungowan, Hillgrove, Kings Plains, Rocky Creek, Urbenville, Walcha Road, Woolomin,” he said.
“Vodafone said it has been successful in securing funding for sites including: Attunga, Barraba, Bruxner Highway (two sites), Duri, Elsmore, Fossickers Way, Hallsville, Invergowrie, Manilla, Moonbi, Mount Carrington, Oxley Vale, Piallamore, Spring Mountain Road, Tamworth, Walcha and Westdale,” he said.
“This is about getting out into the edges of the Electorate, and we’re not going to rest on our laurels.
“And we will be working just as hard in the next round as we did for this round,” he said.
Vodafone’s Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs, Dan Lloyd said the announcement was a great example of local communities, the Federal Government and Vodafone working together on solutions to improve mobile coverage and choice of provider for customers in the New England region.
“The Federal Government’s announcement is a great step forward towards giving New England residents better coverage and, often for the first time, the chance to have a choice of mobile provider,” Mr Lloyd said.
“Today’s announcement of 18 new Vodafone sites for the New England region builds on our commitment to the local area, with a new store shortly to open in Armidale.
Telstra Country Wide Area General Manager North West NSW, Catherine Smith, said Telstra’s participation in the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme is just another example of their ongoing commitment to regional and rural Australia.
“People and business are now relying on mobile connectivity more than ever and we are acutely aware of the challenges facing communities living with limited access to a mobile network. That is why we are excited to play an important role in delivering mobile coverage to a large number of regional communities as part of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme,” said Ms Smith.
“Over the next three years, the new towers will be installed across North West NSW, significantly expanding mobile coverage in the area.”
In addition to the new mobile towers, Telstra will be installing 250 Small Cells to deliver high speed 4G data services in some small country towns where suitable Telstra infrastructure is available. Telstra will also continue to invest its own funds to expand its mobile coverage in regional areas.
“As the first carrier to bring 4G mobile services to regional Australia, we know how important high-speed mobile can be to supporting local businesses, tourism and education so we are also continuing the expansion of our 4G and 4GX services,” Ms Smith said.
“We are proud to have put forward a strong bid for regional Australia and look forward to rolling out the new mobile towers and expanding coverage for hundreds of communities over the next three years.”
Coverage will be provided to all or part of the following locations nominated as black spots in the Electorate of New England by handheld or external antenna coverage:
Arding, Armidale, Ashford, Attunga, Balala, Barraba, Beardy River, Bonshaw, Boorolong, Bowling Alley Point, Brodies Plains, Bukkulla, Bundarra, Chaffey Dam, Currabubula, Drake, Dungowan, Duri, East Tamworth, Elsmore, Enmore, Fig Tree Hill, Gagan Mountain, Garoo Road, Gilgai, Glen Innes, Glen Morrison, Gostwyck, Hallsville, Hamels Lane, Herbert Park Road, Hetheringtons Sugarloaf, HiIlgrove, llparran, lnverell, Invergowrie, Kentucky, Kings Plains, Kingsland, Kingstown, Kingstown Retreat Road, Limbri, Manilla, Matherson Valley, Moonbi, Moore Creek, Mount Carrington, Mount Rumbee, Nullamanna, Oban, Oxley Vale, Piallamore, Retreat, Salisbury Plains, Sapphire, Somerton, Spring Mountain Road, Stannifer, Strathbogie, Swan Vale, Swanbrook, Tamworth, Tamworth Regional Airport, Thalgarrah, The Pines, Torrington, Torryburn, Uralla, Urbenville, Walcha, Walcha Road, Watsons Creek, Wellingrove, Westdale, White Rock Mountain, Woodstock, Woolbrook, Woolomin, Yarrowyck.
Roads and Highway Sections:
Bruxner Highway - Between Casino and Tenterfield, Bruxner Highway - Between Tabulam and Drake, Bruxner Highway - Between Tenterfield and Goondwindi, Bundarra Road - Between Armidale and Bundarra, Bundarra-Barraba Road - Between Barraba and Bundarra, Emmaville Road - Between Ashford and Emmaville, Fossickers Way - Between Bingara and Manilla, Guyra Road - Between Gilgai and Tingha, Gwydir Highway - Between lnverell and Glen Innes, lnverell-Bonshaw Road - Between Wallangra and lnverell, Linton Road - Between Linton and Bundarra Barraba Road, New England Highway - Between Halls Creek and Owens Gap, New England Highway - Between Uralla and Bendemeer, New Winton Road - Between Westdale and Winton, Paddys Flat Road - Between Woodenbong and Tabulam, Thunderbolts Way - Between Armidale and Bundarra, Thunderbolts Way - Between Armidale and Bundarra Road, Thunderbolts Way - Between Dangar's Lagoon and Walcha, Thunderbolts Way - Between lnverell and Bundarra Road, Thunderbolts Way - Between Uralla and lnverell, Thunderbolts Way - Between Uralla and Walcha, Tingha Road - Between Ben Lomond and Tingha, Uralla-Enmore Road - Between Uralla and Enmore, Uralla-Kingstown Road - Between Uralla and Kingstown, Yetman Road - Between lnverell and Graman.