Black spot fix

Bet­ter cov­er­age for Wool­shed Val­ley

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By JUSTIN JENVEY BY JUSTIN JENVEY jjen­vey@ne­me­

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.

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