I am thrilled to announce some wonderful news for the Corangamite electorate today.
Under our government’s $100 million Mobile Phone Black Spots Programme, 10 new Telstra base stations have been funded in Corangamite and will be established in Apollo Bay, Barongarook, Barwon Downs, Cape Otway, Carlisle River, Dereel, Gellibrand, Kawarren, Steiglitz and Yeodene (Birregurra). St Leonards in the Corio electorate will also receive a base station.
In total, as a result of this investment, 115 of the 141 mobile black spots nominated in Corangamite will be addressed by handheld or external antenna coverage (or both). Our commitment is wiping out literally dozens of black spots.
After campaigning so hard on this issue over a number of years, I am extremely proud that our government is delivering this vital communications infrastructure to so many communities. This is very exciting news. I want to commend the many communities, organisations and local residents who have joined with me in advocating for this vital investment.
The base stations will deliver mobile coverage to areas of hire fire risk such as through the Otways and at Dereel which was devastated by fire two years ago. Mobile communications is so important in times of emergency. We have also delivered coverage to more remote areas of the electorate such as in and around Cape Otway and Apollo Bay.
In November 2013, I joined Birregurra residents in a protest march when we symbolically chained ourselves to a temporary mobile phone tower, such was the level of frustration of local residents. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Abbott and I dropped in to the Birregurra General Store where we talked about the town’s blackspot. The base station at Yeodene, which will service Birregurra, is wonderful news for this thriving community.
The total joint funding for Corangamite is $8.27m, including $2.11m from the Federal Government. This investment is in stark contrast to the previous Federal Labor government which did not spend a cent on mobile phone communications in six years.
The $100m Programme has successfully leveraged significant co-contributions from State and local Governments, mobile carriers and third party organisations, bringing the total funding amount to over $385m including $21m from the Victorian Government.
Our government has sent a very strong message: country communities matter.
In more good news announced today, our government will deliver another $60m for a second round of the Mobile Phone Blackspots Programme. I will continue to advocate for those communities which need further investment and look forward to construction beginning on these mobile base stations at the earliest opportunity.
As a result of this investment, predictive modelling shows that coverage (in whole or part) will be provided to the following locations nominated as black spots:
|Aire Valley||Dreeite South||Rokewood|
|Bannockburn||Gellibrand River||Skenes Creek North|
|Barham River Road||Gerangamete||Springdallah|
|Barunah Park||Happy Valley||Sutherlands Creek|
|Barunah Plains||Hesse||Swan Island|
|Barwon Downs||Illabarook||Swan Marsh|
|Beech Forest||Irrewillipe East||Wallington|
|Brisbane Ranges National Park||Meredith||Whoorel|
|Cape Clear||Mount Mercer||Winchelsea South|
|Deans Marsh||Point Lonsdale||Yuulong|
Roads and highway sections also covered:
• Barrabool Road – intersection of Barrabool Road and Merrawarp Road
• Busty Road – between Busty Road and Wild Dog Road
• Colac-Ballarat Road – between Colac and Ballarat
• Great Ocean Road –between Glenaire and Lavers Hill