Black spot fix
Better coverage for Woolshed Valley
INDIGO Shire Council will tick another box towards its goal of having full phone coverage across all communities.
Woolshed Valley has been included in round three of the Victorian Mobile Black Spot Project which will see the government partner with Optus and Telstra to build 28 new phone towers across the state.
The new tower, which Telstra says will be operational by the end of 2019, will provide much need phone coverage in the area between Beechworth and Chiltern.
Indigo Shire mayor Jenny O’Connor was pleased to hear of the announcement last week.
“Phone coverage has been a big concern in areas like Woolshed Valley particularly during the fire season,” she said.
“It’s really great to hear that we’re going to get some appropriate levels of communication for people on mobile phones in that area.”
The last tower to be erected in the Indigo Shire improved communications along the Beechworth-Wodonga Road.
Cr O’Connor said Indigo Shire Council had and would continue to make submissions in every state and federal government black spot funding round.
“We want full coverage across the entire shire but particularly in some of our more remote communities who are often the ones that are most at risk during natural disasters,” she said.
“We’ve made a good start with getting some of those problem areas fixed but there is still a lot to be done to achieve full coverage which is what we are working towards.”
The State Government says it has invested $11 million to build towers, which brings the total amount of state co-funded towers to 229 – representing approximately $190 million of infrastructure investment in regional Victoria.
A further $11 million was announced to fix more mobile black spots in the Victorian Budget 2018/19.
Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford, said the government will continue to work with the regional partnerships, local governments, mobile carriers Emergency Management Victoria and the Commonwealth Government to get the best outcome for Victorian communities.
Details on when the newly announced towers are scheduled for construction are expected to be released in the coming weeks.