Member for New England Barnaby Joyce and Minister for Regional Communications, Senator Bridget McKenzie, have announced outcomes in the Priority Locations round of the Coalition Government’s $220 million Mobile Black Spot Program.
This announcement delivers on the Coalition’s commitment to address coverage issues at Baldersleigh, Copeton Dam, Fig Tree Hill and Kingstown which are among 37 new and upgraded mobile phone towers being rolled out in the New England.
Mr Joyce said the new coverage would open doors for businesses and the community, enabling them to access the same mobile services as major cities.
“We have already increased coverage to 15 sites across the New England under rounds one and two of the program, including recent roll-outs at Pinkett, Balala and Kings Plains,” Mr Joyce said.
“Now four more sites near Inverell and Guyra will soon also have access to 21st century mobile communications infrastructure, right on their doorstep.
“These Telstra base stations being delivered under the priority round will make local business and farm operations easier while helping encourage decentralisation and growth in our region with more reliable mobile phone access when we need it.”
A total of 106 priority locations across Australia will benefit from improved mobile phone coverage. Optus, Telstra and Vodafone will build 102 new base stations under the Priority Location round. In addition, the carriers have commercial plans for new base stations that will further address mobile black spot issues in a number of the identified locations.
Minister for Regional Communications, Bridget McKenzie said construction of the new mobile phone towers will get underway soon.
“We’ve committed $220 million to improve mobile black spots across our vast country with $60 million of this funding targeting priority black spot areas with poor or no mobile coverage, like in the New England,” Minister McKenzie said.
“Only the Coalition understands the importance of modern telecommunications for our regional communities, and has implemented a plan to deliver.”
The Coalition Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program is improving mobile coverage across Australia including along major regional transport routes, in small communities and at identified priority locations. More than 456 locations across Australia have already received new or improved coverage through rounds 1 and 2 of the program.
The base station rollout schedules for all three rounds of the program will be available on the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone websites.
More information about the program and a list of the priority locations is available at: communications.gov.au/mbsp