Today, I am thrilled to announce some wonderful news for the Corangamite electorate. Under Round Two of the Turnbull Government’s $220m Mobile Phone Blackspots Program, four new base stations have been funded in Corangamite – to be located in Separation Creek, Kennett River, Horden Vale and just south of Lorne.
After campaigning so hard on this issue over a number of years, I am extremely proud that our government is delivering better mobile communications to so many communities.
This is very exciting news. I want to commend the many organisations and local residents who have joined with me in advocating for this vital investment.
These four new base stations show, once again, that the voice of smaller communities is being heard loud and clear in Corangamite.
I have lobbied extremely hard for better mobile reception for Separation Creek and Kennett River and other areas of high fire risk in the wake of the 2015 Christmas Day bushfires. In 2014, I held a community meeting in Horden Vale over this issue and am delighted we have secured this investment for the community. The mobile base station south of Lorne also increases mobile coverage along the Great Ocean Road, vital for tourism and bushfire safety.
In June last year, our government announced 10 Telstra base stations across Corangamite – in Apollo Bay, Barongarook, Barwon Downs, Carlisle River (active), Cape Otway, Dereel, Kawarren, Gellibrand, Steiglitz (near Meredith) and Yeodene (servicing Birregurra). As we committed prior to the last election, there will also be new mobile base stations for Birregurra, Anglesea, Aireys Inlet and Bellbrae.
The locations for Round 2 of the Mobile Black Spot Program were selected following a request 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. The locations of all of the 266 base stations can be found on the national map at www.nationalmap.gov.au.
The Turnbull Government understands the importance of mobile coverage in regional and remote areas of Australia, which is why we have allocated $220m for this program. Despite being in government for six years, Labor did not spend one dollar fixing mobile black spots.
More information about the Coalition Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program can be found at www.communications.gov.au/mbsp.
1 December 2016