Minister for the Department of Communications and the Arts

Coalition delivering 765 mobile towers, Labor 0

21 March 2017

The Coalition continues to deliver on mobile phone coverage in rural, regional and remote Australia, Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash said today.

Minister Nash, who attended the opening of Telstra’s 100th new tower under the Coalition’s Mobile Black Spots Program (MBSP) last week in Culla, Victoria, said the Coalition was delivering for rural, regional and remote Australia.

“We’re delivering 765 new and improved mobile phone towers for rural, regional and remote Australia,” Minister Nash said.

“These 765 towers will deliver new or improved coverage to 32,000 homes and businesses across 86,000 square kilometres.

“The alternative is Labor, which did not help build a single tower in government have and refused to match the Coalition’s Mobile Black Spots Program.”

Minister Nash said it was unrealistic to think Australia’s land mass of nearly eight million square kilometres of mountains, valleys and deserts would be entirely covered by traditional mobile phone coverage anytime soon. Government can’t force companies to put towers in certain places. However it can offer incentives, which is what the Coalition’s MBSP does.

“All Australians need to take responsibility for their safety when outside traditional mobile phone coverage. Australians were using other devices for decades before there were mobile phones. On my farm I’ve often used the two way radio, for example.

“Satellite phones are available from $700 up – similar price to a smart phone. Plans start from $15 a month. Satellite phones are unaffected by mountains and hills on the ground.

“The Coalition will always look after rural, regional and remote Australia. Labor will ignorantly talk down rural, regional and remote Australians from their laneway café’s in their skinny ties and colourful socks without offering real policy to improve their lives.”

Fast facts:
Towers being delivered: Coalition delivering 765, Labor 0
Premises receiving new or improved coverage: Coalition 32,000, Labor 0
Square kilometres of new or improved handheld coverage being delivered: Coalition 86,000 km/sq, Labor 0
Mobile black spots being fixed: Coalition 4400, Labor 0
Around 171,000 Australians do not have mobile phone coverage at their home.
It’s believed there are around 60,000 satellite phone users in Australia.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122 les.white@regional.gov.au

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