Phones are ringing across the Riverina and Central West

Residents, landholders and travellers throughout the Riverina and Central West will benefit from improved mobile phone coverage with four new mobile base stations to be delivered under round 2 of the Australian Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, the Nationals’ Federal Member for Riverina and Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack announced today.

“I’m so pleased to announce that these new towers will provide improved coverage for the rural and regional communities near Temora, Trungley Hall and Wyangala,” Mr McCormack said.

“As we continue to connect more and more by mobile phone it’s so important that residents, farmers, small businesses and travellers have the ability to connect, communicate and get on with their lives without the delays and inconvenience of having no mobile phone coverage.

“Round 2 of the Coalition’s Mobile Black Spots Program will deliver new or upgraded coverage to 6500 homes and business across 17,500 square kilometres via 266 new or upgraded towers. This includes 1900 kilometres of major transport routes.

“Labor did not help build a single mobile phone tower nor invest a single cent in mobile coverage in six years of Government. In my time as the federal representative for the Riverina and Central West I’m proud to have been able to deliver better mobile coverage”.

The Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash has also praised the Program.

“In total, Rounds 1 and 2 of the Coalition’s Program will deliver new coverage to 32,000 homes and businesses across 86,000 square kilometres including 7600 of major transport routes via 765 new mobile phone towers,” Minister Nash said.

“I aim to help build the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren either want to stay in or come back to, and better mobile phone coverage is a big part of that”.

Mr McCormack said that including co-contributions from carriers and state governments, round 2 represents a total new investment of $213 million towards improved mobile coverage.

The locations for round 2 of the Mobile Black Spot Program were selected following an appeal to the public to nominate black spots.

These locations were entered into the national map which was provided to mobile network providers to assist them to develop funding applications. These were assessed against the program guidelines by the Department of Communications and the Minister accepted the Department’s recommendations without change.

“I frequently travel across the length and breadth of the Riverina and Central West and am only too familiar with a number of the blackspots across the electorate, so it’s pleasing to know that the new and upgraded base stations to be located at Mount McDonald, Old Wagga Road South, Temora West and Trungley Hall is due to the efforts of the community in identifying black spot locations and advocating for them to be fixed,” Mr McCormack said.

“I look forward to the new towers being built and existing towers being upgraded so that the bush can enjoy the coverage our counterparts in the major centres take for granted”.

The locations of all of the 266 base stations can be found on the national map at www.nationalmap.gov.au and more information about the Coalition Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program can be found atwww.communications.gov.au/mbsp or by contacting Mr McCormack’s electorate office.

Cristy Houghton