Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, has urged communities to maintain pressure on the Turnbull Government to eliminate mobile black spots across the region.
Responding to a report of the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) into the Government’s handling of the mobile blackspot program, Ms King said the region should not rest until all blackspots are eliminated.
“While we have secured a number of new towers across the region, there are still many holes in the mobile coverage and this is a continuing concern,” Ms King said.
“This $220 million programme is supposed to improve public safety and expand mobile phone coverage across Australia. So far it has fallen short here as it has in many places, although we have done better than some.
The ANAO report tabled in Parliament found that:
- The programme didn’t deliver value for money for consumers.
- Insufficient attention was paid to local issues and community need.
- A series of “awareness forums” conducted by the Government only benefited Coalition-held seats.
Ms King said that the report reinforced the need for local communities to maintain the pressure on the Government to deliver the outcomes the program is designed to achieve.
“The Government has made lots of noise about fixing mobile black spots. This report shows that there are vulnerable communities that are missing out.” Ms King said.
“This isn’t good enough; mobile black spots are a real problem for many communities across Australia – including those like our very own – which are vulnerable to natural disasters like bushfires.
“The ANAO report should be a wake-up call for the Government. They have neglected to properly manage a programme that has serious flaws.”
Ms King said she would continue to support all community efforts to fix mobile black spots across the Ballarat electorate.
“We will make sure that areas with high risk of natural disasters are given strong consideration, especially where human safety is at stake.
“I will continue to advocate for better coverage across our region, and I urge all our communities affected to keep up the fight to have mobile black spots removed.”
8th SEPTEMBER 2016