Push for bet­ter mo­bile cov­er­age

Western Times - - NEWS -

FED­ERAL calls for mo­bile black spot nom­i­na­tions have been met with a ral­ly­ing cry by AgForce, which said Queens­land needs to be the pri­or­ity state for fix­ing mo­bile cov­er­age.

AgForce Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mit­tee chair­woman Ge­orgie Som­er­set said poor mo­bile cov­er­age is a huge is­sue for peo­ple in ru­ral ar­eas, which wasn’t im­proved in pre­vi­ous rounds of the Fed­eral Mo­bile Black Spot Pro­gram.

“Queens­land is the most de­cen­tralised state in Aus­tralia, and the need for more af­ford­able and re­li­able phone and in­ter­net ser­vices is one of the big­gest is­sues for peo­ple liv­ing, work­ing and trav­el­ling in the bush,” she said.

“Phone and in­ter­net ser­vices are an eco­nomic and so­cial life­line for re­gional, ru­ral and re­mote Queens­lan­ders.

“Af­ford­able and re­li­able ser­vices are vi­tally im­por­tant for com­mu­nity safety, to sup­port busi­ness devel­op­ment, en­hance chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion and main­tain so­cial con­nec­tions.

“With nom­i­na­tions now be­ing called for the next round of fund­ing to elim­i­nate mo­bile phone black spots, we would hope that many ar­eas of Queens­land can ben­e­fit,” she said.

AgForce will lobby the Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Re­gional Ser­vices, Se­na­tor Brid­get McKen­zie, for fund­ing to go to part of Queens­land which have missed out in rounds one through three.

“The pre­vi­ous rounds have seen mo­bile cov­er­age im­prove­ments to Quilpie in the South West, with the fund­ing mak­ing a big dif­fer­ence to the peo­ple who live and work in these com­mu­ni­ties,” Ms Som­er­set said.

“We’ll be en­cour­ag­ing our mem­bers to iden­tify black spots in their ar­eas.”

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