MS MEGAN PURCELL,
LIBERAL CANDIDATE FOR BENDIGO
21 June 2016
Liberal Candidate for Bendigo Megan Purcell together with the Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield today announced that a new mobile base station in Guildford is due to be switched on within weeks as part of the Turnbull Coalition Team’s $220 million Mobile Black Spot Programme.
“This new mobile base station in Guildford will bring a much-needed boost to mobile coverage, providing benefits to emergency service operators, businesses, and residents,” Ms Purcell said.
“The Coalition Government understands the importance of mobile coverage in regional and remote areas of Australia, which is why we allocated $100 million for Round 1 of the Mobile Black Spot Programme and a further $120 million for two additional rounds, bringing the Coalition’s total investment to $220 million.”
Round 1 of the Mobile Black Spot Programme will deliver almost 500 new and upgraded mobile base stations in regional and remote areas of Australia. Two new base stations in the electorate of Bendigo in Guildford and Piper’s Creek will be delivered and will provide new or upgraded mobile coverage to 63 of the 87 mobile black spots nominated by the public in Bendigo.
The new base station at Guildford will be co-located on an NBN Fixed Wireless tower, leveraging the Government’s investment in constructing new towers as part of the nbn rollout. There are currently 32 NBN Fixed Wireless towers providing high-speed broadband in Bendigo, with six more expected to be online by the end of 2016.
Minister Fifield said that despite Labor being in Government for six years, they did not spend one dollar on fixing mobile black spots in regional Australia.
“Labor is yet to commit to continuing the rollout of new mobile base stations the Coalition has committed to funding under Round 1 of the programme and whether or not they will uphold the Coalition’s funding for round 2 of the programme,” Minister Fifield said.
The new and upgraded base stations to be built under the Coalition’s Round 1 of the Mobile Black Spot Programme will provide new handheld coverage to 68,600 square kilometres and new external antenna coverage to more than 150,000 square kilometres, and more than 5,700 kilometres of major transport routes will receive new handheld or external antenna coverage.
This represents the largest one-time increase in mobile network coverage delivered by a single public funding programme in the history of mobile communications in Australia.