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More Australians to benefit from better phone coverage

Hard to reach mobile black spots will soon be addressed under the Coalition's plan to improve telecommunications in regional Australia.

Minister for Regional Communications, Bridget McKenzie announced alongside Liberal candidate for Braddon, Brett Whitely a new round of funding under the Coalition's Mobile Black Spot Program.

Under Round 4 of the program, the Coalition will invest $25 million to improve coverage in black spot areas across regional Australia.

Minister McKenzie said the latest round will ensure regional Australians are not left behind.

“As a regional Australian myself, I've seen firsthand the benefits that reliable mobile connectivity can bring to our communities and how it enables them to fully participate in the digital world and contribute to Australia's economic growth,” Minister McKenzie said.

“This new round demonstrates the Coalition's commitment to ensure regional Australians have access to 21st century communications.”

“We are doing this by investing in areas overlooked by mobile network operators due to commercial reasons.”

“The new round will call for applications from mobile carriers within the coming months, taking input from state, territory and local governments, as well as businesses, community organisations and emergency services,” Minister McKenzie said.

“The rollout of base stations under previous rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program is over halfway complete, delivering benefits to hundreds of communities throughout Australia, by connecting them to essential business, education and health services.”

Liberal candidate for Braddon Brett Whitely said the Coalition is committed to delivering better mobile phone coverage to Tasmania's north-west and west.

“Since the Coalition formed government in 2013, we have delivered mobile base stations in Temma, Gawler, Rocky Cape, Sisters Beach, Yolla, Elliot, Melrose, South Riana and Loyetea. Three more base stations around Yolla, Gunns Plains and Devonport are due to come online soon,” Mr Whitely said.

“The Coalition is committed to ensuring these new base stations open doors for regional Tasmanians.”

“Under this new round of the program, the Coalition will improve phone coverage along transport routes, in small communities, as well as in areas with unique coverage issues such as tourism hotspots with seasonal demand.”

For more information about the program visit: www.communications.gov.au/mbsp

FAST FACTS:

  • The Coalition is investing $220 million into fixing mobile black spots
  • When Bill Shorten was a frontbencher under Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd, Labor failed to allocate a single dollar to address the issue of mobile coverage in regional Australia
  • By contrast, the Coalition's Mobile Black Spot Program has leveraged a total investment of more than $680 million towards improving phone coverage, including funding from state and local governments, and the mobile network operators
  • The competitive selection process for round four of the program is expected to commence in the second half of 2018
  • The rollout of the first three rounds of program is on track to deliver 867 mobile base stations nationwide by June 2019
  • Coalition – 867 black spots. Labor – 0 black spots.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Minister McKenzie:     William Rollo 0436 409 743