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Ministers for the Department of Communications and the Arts

The Hon Paul Fletcher MP

Previous Parliamentary Secretary
to the Minister for Communications

$100 million Mobile Black Spot Programme reaches important milestone

17 April 2015

The Abbott Government's $100 million Mobile Black Spot Programme has reached an important milestone, with proposals now received for funding under the Programme.

'This is about delivering on the Coalition's election commitment to boost mobile coverage in outer metropolitan, regional and remote Australia,' said Paul Fletcher MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications.

'Each of the mobile network operators, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, has come forward with a proposal.  The Government is currently assessing the proposals, and aims to be in a position to announce the list of base stations by 30 June 2015,' Mr Fletcher said.

'The competitive selection process for locations is not a 'winner takes all' process; rather the funding will be allocated 'base station by base station.'  Mr Fletcher said.  

The Government will assess each proposed base station against the criteria specified in the Programme Guidelines, to determine the base stations to receive funding.

'The process is designed to maximise competition in two ways – between locations, and between bidders – to get as many new base stations as possible for the money.'

The Programme has been designed to encourage co-contributions from other levels of government. The Victorian Government recently announced its decision to support a bid for funding under the Programme.  This follows a commitment by the NSW Government to allocate $25 million to improved mobile coverage, working in conjunction with the Commonwealth Programme, and a commitment of $35 million by the WA Government. A number of local councils have offered cash or in-kind contributions.

The details of the competitive selection process are set out in the Programme guidelines which are available on the Department of Communications website.

Media Contact – Luke Coleman 0414-728-720 Luke.Coleman@communications.gov.au

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