Eras­ing black spots in bush

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - News -

FED­ERAL Mem­ber for Mara­noa David Lit­tleproud has wel­comed the gov­ern­ment’s plan to ad­dress more mo­bile ser­vice black spots.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment will com­mit $25 mil­lion for a fourth round of the Mo­bile Black Spot Pro­gram, de­liv­er­ing more cov­er­age to re­gional and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties.

“For too long those in the bush had to stand on one foot, on top of a hill in the back pad­dock try­ing to pick up a sig­nal,” Mr Lit­tleproud said.

“Bet­ter mo­bile cov­er­age helps ru­ral busi­ness, tourism, fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties.

“Lo­cal res­i­dents, coun­cils, busi­nesses and com­mu­nity groups were given the op­por­tu­nity to nom­i­nate ar­eas for bet­ter mo­bile cov­er­age.

“This Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment is the first gov­ern­ment to ac­tu­ally put in place a Mo­bile Black Spot Pro­gram,” Mr Lit­tleproud said.

“In gov­ern­ment, La­bor didn’t in­vest a sin­gle cent in mo­bile cov­er­age and didn’t fix a sin­gle mo­bile black spot.

“The op­po­si­tion has no pol­icy to ex­pand mo­bile cov­er­age. They’re short on ideas and short on care for ru­ral Aus­tralia.”

The new round will call for ap­pli­ca­tions from mo­bile car­ri­ers within the com­ing months, tak­ing in­put from state, ter­ri­tory and lo­cal gov­ern­ments, as well as busi­nesses, com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions and emer­gency ser­vices.

The Mo­bile Black Spot Pro­gram is al­ready more than half­way through the de­liv­ery of 867 base sta­tions na­tion­wide by June 2019.

The com­pet­i­tive se­lec­tion process for round four of the pro­gram is ex­pected to com­mence in the se­cond half of 2018.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

GET­TING CON­NECTED: David Lit­tleproud tests out a re­cently switched-on tower – funded by the gov­ern­ment Mo­bile Phone Black Spot Pro­gram.

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