The NSW Nationals in the federal government have opened a new round of the Mobile Black Spot Program, which has delivered improved connectivity along major regional and remote transport corridors and in disaster-prone regions.
Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader Michael McCormack says applications are now open for Round 5A of the Mobile Black Spot Program.
“The Mobile Black Spot Program so far has delivered more than 20 phone towers in the Riverina and Central West alone, including at Bedgerabong, Darbys Falls, Naradhan and Wantabadgery,” Mr McCormack said.
“We have made great strides in improving regional connectivity, but the NSW Nationals in the federal government know more needs to be done – that is why we continue to fund this important program.
“Our people in rural and regional Australia need, want and deserve communications which keep them safe, connected to loved ones and allows them to conduct business just the same as in metropolitan areas.”
NSW Nationals Minister for Regional Communications Mark Coulton said the continuing investment in mobile base stations was further proof of the NSW Nationals in the federal government’s commitment to connecting Australians in regional areas.
“The first five rounds of the program have funded more than 1200 new base stations in regional Australia, with more than 880 of these already switched on,” Mr Coulton said.
“Round 5A will support new ways of delivering mobile services to locations that have traditionally been less economic for mobile network operators.”
The NSW Nationals in the federal government will continue to work with industry, and state and local governments, to improve connectivity across Australia, particularly in disaster-prone areas.
Mr McCormack encouraged local communities and councils to identify their priorities for improved coverage and to work with mobile network operators and infrastructure providers in support of applications for funding in their areas.
Outcomes from Round 5A of the Mobile Black Spot Program will help inform the design of Round 6, the funding of which was committed in the 2019-2020 Budget.