New tow­ers to be built

Benalla Ensign - - News - By Di­dier Sto­bart

Be­nalla res­i­dents will soon see an im­prove­ment to mo­bile black spots in the area, af­ter Fed­eral Mem­ber for Indi Cathy McGowan took steps to make im­prove­ments last week.

McGowan and lo­cal may­ors met with Vic­to­ria’s Trade and In­vest­ment, In­no­va­tion and Dig­i­tal Econ­omy Min­is­ter Philip Dal­i­dakis to dis­cuss pri­or­ity mo­bile black spots in the north east.

The Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment last month an­nounced it would pro­vide $11 mil­lion to in­vest in build­ing new mo­bile phone tow­ers across re­gional Vic­to­ria.

‘‘I wel­come the com­mit­ment by the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment to part­ner with the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try and the com­mu­nity to build these tow­ers,’’ Ms McGowan said.

‘‘This visit is an op­por­tu­nity to present the min­is­ter with the work done by the Indi Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Ac­tion Group (ITAG) and dis­cuss how the Vic­to­rian pro­gram will work with lo­cal govern­ments to pri­ori­tise re­main­ing black spot sites in Indi.

‘‘Fund­ing has been se­cured for 38 mo­bile phone tow­ers in Indi through the Com­mon­wealth Mo­bile Black Spot Pro­gram.

‘‘The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment is yet to com­mit to Round Four of this pro­gram.

‘‘I will con­tinue to press the Coali­tion and par­tic­u­larly the Na­tional Party to en­sure fund­ing is made avail­able in the 2018-19 Fed­eral Bud­get.

‘‘Rounds One and Two of the Com­mon­wealth Mo­bile Black Spot Pro­gram worked well in Indi as a part­ner­ship be­tween the com­mu­nity, lo­cal, state and fed­eral govern­ments.

‘‘I com­mend a sim­i­lar part­ner­ship un­der the new Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment pro­gram.’’

This will be a wel­comed im­prove­ment for phone cov­er­age around Be­nalla, with about 16 black spots still ex­ist­ing in sur­round­ing ar­eas.

Work sites and emer­gency ser­vices should see the big­gest im­prove­ment in mo­bile cov­er­age, with the pro­gram tar­get­ing im­prove­ments in those ar­eas specif­i­cally.

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