Geraldton MLA Ian Blayney has welcomed today’s announcement by the The Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments that the first 10 from a total of 130 new or upgraded mobile base stations scheduled to be constructed in Western Australia under Round 1 of the $385 million Mobile Black Spot Programme.
“This is great news for the Midwest. I look forward to more telecommunication black spots being addressed as we go forward.
“Internet access and mobile phone coverage are essential for both business and daily activities. It is so important that people, business and industry have the ability to be connected at all times,” said Mr Blayney.
New or upgraded base stations in East Yuna, Ferguson Valley, Grass Valley, Kununoppin, Minilya, Nabawa, Naraling, South Yuna and West River are scheduled to be constructed by the end of July 2016 in Western Australia, with one base station in Ajana already operational.
Under Round 1 of the programme, the Coalition Government's $100 million investment leveraged an additional $32 million in co-contribution from the Western Australian Government as well as substantial co-contributions from mobile network operators, local governments and third parties. In total, 130 base stations will be built in WA over the next three years, with 363 of the 533 mobile black spots nominated in Western Australia to be addressed by handheld or external antenna coverage (or both).
WA Minister for Commerce Michael Mischin said the programme was part of the WA Government's ongoing commitment to provide greater connectivity for regional communities and improve safety and emergency service capabilities.
"Today's announcement builds on the 113 mobile towers established under the State Government's $44 million Regional Mobile Communications Project, which was completed in 2014, and 23 sites to be completed by the end of June 2016 under the
State Government's $49.5 million Regional Telecommunications Project," Mr Mischin said.
Public nominations for black spots to be considered under Round 2 of the Programme closed last month, with an additional $60 million in funding announced for Round 2 in June 2015. The new locations to be funded under Round 2 are expected to be revealed by the end of 2016, with a competitive selection process for the funding to be announced in the coming weeks.
More information about the Programme and the rollout schedule is available at http://www.communications.gov.au/mobile_coverage