A Purnim woman who tried to work from home to protect her unborn baby from the coronavirus outbreak has expressed her disappointment at the lack of mobile phone coverage.
Sharna Sinclair and her husband Ashley run Sinclair Service Centre in Warrnambool.
When the stage three coronavirus restrictions were implemented, Mrs Sinclair was nine weeks pregnant with the couple's first child.
"We decided it would be best for me to work from home because of the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus," she said.
"I said 'yeah that will be fine, I'll be able to do what I need to do'."
However, she soon became frustrated by the poor mobile phone reception at the couple's Purnim property.
"I tried to work from home for five or six weeks but it was so hard," Mrs Sinclair said.
"Everything took twice as long."
Mrs Sinclair said the couple had asked to be connected to the NBN but had been advised it was not available at their home.
"My phone calls drop out all the time and the only internet we have is hotspot on my phone which drops out all the time," she said.
"That only works on a nice day - if it's windy that won't work."
Mrs Sinclair said neighbours shared her concerns about lack of mobile phone coverage in the town.
She said it was disappointing and meant she had to return to work earlier than she had planned.
"If we're lucky we get one bar (of reception)," Mrs Sinclair said.
She said she hoped the coverage would improve to allow her to complete work tasks from home when the couple's baby is born.
Mrs Sinclair said it was hard to keep in touch with family during the coronavirus restrictions.
"I would have to drive into town (Warrnambool) to try and video call family and friends," she said.
Curdievale's Christie Brown said she also experienced issues with poor mobile phone coverage.
"I'm lucky to have two bars of service on my phone," she said.
She said her husband was a truck driver and needed to remain in touch with his employer, which was difficult at times.
Mrs Brown said she couldn't conduct video calls due to the poor mobile reception.
"We pay good money for our mobiles and internet and we are not getting the service to reflect this cost," she said.
Their pleas for better coverage come as Member for Wannon Dan Tehan called for feedback on the federal government's next round of its mobile black spot program (MBSP).
Mr Tehan said the release of the discussion paper was a great opportunity for regional Australians to have their say on how the program can best deliver the mobile coverage they need into the future.
"The coalition government is committed to delivering improved coverage and choice for Australians in regional and remote areas," he said.
"With $46 million on the table for round 5A and a further $80 million committed for round six, the MBSP has plenty more to do.
"In order to deliver this, it is vital we receive feedback on proposed changes from a broad regional audience."
To have your say, visit: https://bit.ly/2yUkJk4. The discussion paper is open for submissions until June 19.
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