22/11/2017

New round opens to fix mobile black spots in Wide Bay

Mobile phone reception is set to improve at Poona and part of the Wide Bay Highway, with the commencement of the Coalition Government’s Priority Locations Round of the Mobile Black Spot Program, Minister for Communications, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield and Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien announced today.

Towers will be built or upgraded at Poona and Wide Bay Highway after the Coalition Government committed $60 million to address 106 priority locations across the country that have been identified as having poor or no mobile coverage.

“I made an election commitment to deliver these towers to improve mobile phone reception in Wide Bay, and I am pleased to be able to deliver on that commitment,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Improved mobile coverage will  improve the lives, businesses and safety of people living in regional communities, and extending the mobile network to communities with little or no coverage remains a high priority for me.

“It’s fantastic to see these priority locations in Wide Bay are one step closer to receiving new and improved mobile coverage and I call on the telecommunications companies to give us their best tenders to deliver coverage.”

Minister Fifield opened the priority round today, calling on telecommunication companies to participate in a tender to build new towers and improve coverage in these locations.

“The Coalition continues to deliver more coverage to rural, regional and remote Australia,” Minister Fifield said.

“We’re already delivering 765 towers which will provide coverage for 32,000 homes and businesses, and now we’ll deliver coverage to even more regional Australians.”

The Coalition Government expects the tender process to be finalised by the end of the year, with the rollout of successful towers to commence early in 2018.

Nationally, 765 locations are already being addressed under the first two rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program, including towers funded under round one that are now active at Widgee, Woolooga, Kin Kin and Glastonbury in Wide Bay.

Further improvements will also be made next year with new towers or upgrades at Maryborough-Biggenden Road between Brooweena and Maryborough; Boreen Point; Cootharaba Road at Gympie; Maaroom; Pomona Kin Kin Road; Tansey; Windera and Yerra, under round two of the program.

The program guidelines for the Priority Locations round are available at www.communications.gov.au/mbsp