State gov­ern­ment picks up black-spot slack

McIvor Times - - NEWS -

THE state gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to sup­port the erad­i­ca­tion of mo­bile black spots in re­gional Victoria, de­spite the fed­eral gov­ern­ment stop­ping its Mo­bile Black Spot Pro­gram (MBSP).

The fed­eral bud­get doesn’t de­liver any ex­tra fund­ing for the MBSP, even though thou­sands of re­gional Vic­to­ri­ans still ex­pe­ri­ence poor mo­bile cov­er­age.

After two suc­cess­ful rounds of the fed­eral pro­gram, the State Gov­ern­ment an­nounced in Jan­uary that it would not take part in round three due to a lack of con­sul­ta­tion and trans­parency from Can­berra. In­stead, the $11 mil­lion al­lo­cated to black spots in the Vic­to­rian bud­get 2017/18 was re-di­rected to its own pro­gram — the Vic­to­rian Mo­bile Black Spot Project (VMBSP).

The State Gov­ern­ment is work­ing with lo­cal coun­cils, re­gional partnerships and Emer­gency Man­age­ment Victoria to en­sure the VMBSP funds mo­bile tow­ers based on merit and ne­ces­sity.

“It’s stag­ger­ing that Mal­colm Turn­bull and Scott Mor­ri­son can find $80 bil­lion for big busi­ness tax cuts, but can’t find a sin­gle dol­lar for those liv­ing in re­gional Victoria with­out mo­bile cov­er­age,” Min­is­ter for Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Jaala Pul­ford said.

Visit eco­nomicde­vel­op­ment.vic. gov.au/con­nect­ing-victoria

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