A GOVERNMENT program inviting Wannon residents to submit mobile black spot areas for upgrades has been extended until January 15 to give communities more opportunities to have a say.
Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said the program’s new second round closing date would ensure individuals and community groups in Wannon had enough time to get their nominations in after the festive season.
“The new date reflects the significant demand for improved mobile coverage in rural, regional and remote Australia,” he said.
“Under round two of the program, the government will commit $60 million to improve mobile coverage in areas reported as having poor or no mobile coverage by the community.”
Scotts Creek and Hawkesdale have so far been identified as black spot areas requiring upgrades, Mr Tehan said.
“There have been three key spots identified – some near Hawkesdale, one west of Hamilton and the rest are in the northern part of electorate,” he said.
“There are a lot around the Central Goldfields Shire near Maryborough and the Pyrenees Shire, so it is an issue which is a lot more prevalent in the northern part of the electorate than the south, in terms of feedback.
“This is one of my absolute priority issues along with road funding, so all feedback is incredibly important.
“Now is the time to provide the feedback.”
The government funding adds to a $100 million investment in round one, which will add 11 towers to the Wannon electorate, according to Mr Tehan.
“They are spread right across the electorate,” he said.
“They still have to be constructed but the feedback has been incredibly positive because there are areas like the Victoria Valley in the Grampians calling for a mobile upgrade since the Grampians fires nearly a decade ago.
“Obviously we’ve got a very good outcome from the first round in western Victoria and I’m keen to see that continue with the second round.”
A map of the regional mobile black spot locations and locations which will receive mobile base stations under round one is available at http://nationalmap.gov.au
Nominations for the second round of the black spot mobile program can be made online at www.communications.gov.au/blackspots or by contacting Mr Tehan.