JMR with Minister for Regional Communications and Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie
The Liberal and Nationals Government is strengthening the resilience of mobile networks against bushfires and other natural disasters across the country including in the Corangamite, Corio, Bendigo and Ballarat electorates through Round 2 of the Mobile Network Hardening Program (MNHP), with successful applications announced.
Optus, Telstra and TPG Telecom will deliver 544 mobile network resilience upgrades across the country, building on the success of the first round.
Minister for Regional Communications and Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, said the Liberals and Nationals Government was committed to keeping communities safe during a natural disaster.
“This strong outcome from Stage 2 of the MNHP demonstrates our Government’s ongoing commitment to improving mobile network resilience and preparedness so communities can better deal with future emergencies and natural disasters,” Minister McKenzie said.
“Successful projects we’ve announced nationally include the installation of permanent power generators, increased battery reserves, transmission resiliency upgrades to protect against network transmission outages and site hardening measures such as protective ember screening to protect sites from potential impacts of embers, radiation or flames.
“Mobile phones are increasingly important for people in regional and remote communities to stay in contact with friends and loved ones and to access critical supports both during and after natural disasters such as bushfires and floods.
“While these upgrades will provide a significant boost locally, it’s also important to remind people of the need to prepare for emergencies and natural disasters which can occur at any time. I would encourage people to ensure they are prepared, including having plans in the event of power and other service outages.”
Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson, said they were pleased to see the Australian Government investing in projects that will keep people safe from harm.
“In addition to Optus delivering transmission diversity for a cluster of sites across the state, I welcome the 15 projects this region will see delivered, each of which will make a big difference to the lives of people living in and visiting this region:
Corangamite and Corio electorates:
– Permanent generator at Mt Duneed to be delivered by Optus
– Improved redundancy within a cluster of sites outside Geelong to be delivered by TPG
– Supplementary battery module at Castlemaine to be delivered by Optus
– Supplementary battery module at Churchill and Churchill Town to be delivered by Optus
– Supplementary battery module at Garfield-Bunyip to be delivered by Optus
– Battery upgrade to 12+ hours at Axedale to be delivered by Telstra
– Portable generator at Bendigo Short Street to be delivered by Telstra
– Improved redundancy within a cluster of sites at Bendigo to be delivered by TPG
– Portable generator at Ballarat to be delivered by Telstra
– Improved redundancy within a cluster of sites at Ballarat to be delivered by Telstra
– Generator and power system upgrade to be delivered by Telstra at Snake Valley
– Generator and power system upgrade to be delivered by Telstra at Blackwood
– Battery upgrade to 12+ hours to be delivered by Telstra at Hepburn.
“Having access to up-to-date information can genuinely save lives, particularly during a fast moving event like a bushfire, where conditions can change dramatically,” Senator Henderson said.
The MNHP is part of the Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND) package introduced in May 2020 to help prevent, mitigate and manage outages during bushfires and other natural disasters.
Under Stage 1 of the MNHP, Telstra, Optus and TPG Telecom were awarded funding to upgrade the auxiliary backup power supply at 467 sites funded under Rounds 1 and 2 of the Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP).
Funding under Stage 2 was awarded through a competitive grants process.
Further information on the MNHP and STAND, including a list of sites to receive upgrades, is available on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website at www.infrastructure.gov.au/media-technology-communications/phone/communications-emergencies/strengthen-resilience
6 March 2022