More than a dozen areas of the Ballarat region remain without decent mobile phone coverage because of the failure of the Abbott Government to deliver on its promise to fix mobile phone blackspots, Federal Member for Ballarat Catherine King said today.
“Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull promised $100 million for a Federal Blackspot program in the 2013 election.
“At the time I noted that there were at least 14 areas of my electorate that urgently required an upgrade to their mobile coverage services.
“After an awful bushfire season at the end of 2013, it was evident that every single one of these areas should have been a high priority for immediate funding. Each one has a serious bushfire risk, a risk to local communities exacerbated by the lack of mobile coverage.
“Despite this, it has now been almost 12 months since the consultation period on this program finished and we have not heard which, if any, of these areas will receive funding.
“Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull need to resolve this issue, so work can be done before the next bushfire season and people can access emergency information when they need it.”
With the shift to area based mobile notifications and internet monitoring, adequate mobile coverage for high risk areas has never been more necessary.
The locations nominated by Catherine King for works by the Department of Communications include:
Ballan, Blackwood, Dales Creek, Dean, Dereel, Drummond, Elaine, Enfield, Greendale, Glenlyon, Morrisons, Musk, Napoleons and Trentham.