Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, hosted Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, Paul Fletcher MP, at a mobile black spot forum in Bindoon today.
Mr Fletcher is responsible for implementing the the Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme – a $100 million investment to improve mobile phone coverage in outer metro, regional and remote Australia.
The Bindoon community is one of some 6000 locations in outer metropolitan, regional and remote Australia, which have been nominated by Australians as having inadequate mobile coverage
The Programme is designed to improve mobile phone coverage along major transport routes, in small communities and in locations prone to experiencing natural disasters as well as addressing problem areas with high seasonal demand.
“It is great that Paul Fletcher can spend time in Bindoon to hear first-hand from a range of constituents and community representatives,” Mr Porter said.
“I have met with the many residents in Pearce who are dealing with difficult communications issues, particularly in bushfire prone areas, and I understand the challenges families are facing.”
The Government’s $100 million will be allocated through a competitive selection process that is expected to leverage at least an additional $100 million in investment from bidding parties, state governments and local councils.
“Following this competitive selection process the government expects that between 250 and 300 new mobile phone base stations will be built around the country,” said Mr Fletcher.
The Government will shortly commence the competitive selection process, with a view to announcing the locations which have been selected for funding in the first half of 2015. The first base stations funded under the program are expected to begin to roll out in the second half of 2015.
Mr Porter also noted the WA State Government had committed $45 million under its Royalties for Regions Fund to improve mobile black spots.
A database of all nominated black spot locations in Pearce is available on the Department of Communications website: www.communications.gov.au/mobile_services/mobile_black_spot_programme/map