THE south-west will have better mobile coverage under a Liberal National Government, according to the Liberal candidate for South West Coast.
Roma Britnell said an elected Liberal Nationals Government would invest $30 million over four years in telecommunications infrastructure that improves mobile coverage and competition across Victoria.
Mrs Britnell said the Liberal Nationals would get on and improve mobile coverage in areas like Hawkesdale, Gorae West, Woolsthorpe and Broadwater.
She said while the Labor government was happy to come and take photos in areas where mobile coverage was poor – it have failed to do anything about the problem.
“We’ve got CFA Brigades who can’t communicate in times of emergency. The minister came to visit, had his photo taken, but didn’t make any commitment to improvements,” she said.
“Telstra were forced to abandon a plan to future proof and improve mobile phone and emergency services radio coverage in the Koroit region because of political pressure.
“On St Patrick's Day I experienced first hand not being able to get information about bushfires because of poor mobile phone coverage. We can and must do better, especially in fire prone areas like South West Coast.”
Mrs Britnell said a Liberal Nationals Government would make it a priority to invest in better coverage in regional Victoria, including in areas prone to bushfire, along transport routes, key agribusiness areas and in communities with limited telecommunications access.
Opposition spokesman for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation, Peter Walsh, said the Victorian investment program would leverage co-investments from federal and local governments, service providers, businesses and communities.
“There are too many places across our State where communications services aren’t up to scratch and if a Liberal Nationals Government is elected we’re determined to invest and change that,” Mr Walsh said.
“In this digital age where the internet, smartphones and technology dominate, it is absolutely critical that families and businesses in rural and regional areas have reliable telephone and internet services.
“We’re determined to get rural and regional Victoria connected and if we are elected, we’ll get the job started with this $30 million investment.”