Uralla Shire Council Mayor Michael Pearce, left, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Regional Development Minister John Barilaro discussing the new Mobile Black Spot Program funding agreement in Uralla.
MOBILE phone reception blackspots throughout the region will soon be significantly reduced with Member for Northern Tablelands today announcing that eight locations in the electorate had been selected for funding to construct new phone towers.
Mr Marshall said the improvements in network coverage would be delivered through the State Government’s investment of $24 million into the Mobile Blackspot Program, along with $28 million of Federal Government funding and a contribution from the networks – a total investment of $92 million across country NSW.
The eight locations, by local government area are:
- Armidale Dumaresq – Hillgrove;
- Inverell Shire – Bonshaw, Elsmore, Kings Plains, Hetheringtons Sugarloaf (Rocky Creek), Spring Mountain Road;
- Uralla Shire – Invergowrie, Uralla-Kingstown Road (Balala)
“I am absolutely delighted to see so many troublesome mobile blackspots receiving new towers under this scheme,” Mr Marshall said.
“This is a great example of State and Federal Governments and the private sector working together to improve access to the network for country people and maximise the number of towers that could be built.
“These towers will greatly enhance safety and the ability for people in our region to go about their daily lives and business activities.
Mr Marshall said, however, there were still many more blackspots that hadn’t been addressed this time round.
“I’m already lobbying my state colleagues and Regional Development Minister John Barilaro to be willing to put more State funding into another round of this program, which hopefully the Federal Government will pursue,” he said.
“This program will make a tangible improvement to people’s lives in our region and I want to see even more benefit in the future.”
Mr Marshall said the combined Commonwealth and NSW Government investment was the greatest increase in mobile network coverage to metropolitan, regional and remote communities delivered by a single public funding program in the history of Australian mobile communications.
“Across country NSW 144 new or upgraded mobile base stations will be installed that will cover more than 14,000 square kilometres to benefit businesses and residents across regional NSW,” he said.
The investment will improve coverage along major transport routes, in small communities and locations prone to experiencing natural disasters, with funding to be rolled out over a 3-year period. A map of locations is available here www.communications.gov.au/mobile_coverage