Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones today welcomed the addition of 17 local areas to the Mobile Black Spot Program database but called on the Minister to guarantee that funding will be allocated according to need and not by the margin of their local Liberal or National MP.
“On 30 June 2014 I wrote to the Department of Communications indicating that there were a number of areas in my electorate that received poor mobile phone coverage. I am pleased that 10 different areas, including major transport routes, Picton Road, Bulli Pass and the Wollongong-Sydney Rail Line, have been included on the database,” Sharon Bird said.
“By being listed on the database, these areas will now be eligible to access the $100 million Mobile Black Spot Programme. I sincerely hope that this is a genuine attempt to improve mobile phone reception in regional areas.
“As only 250-300 areas from the 6000 strong database will receive funding, I hope to see our local Illawarra region well-represented when the money is handed out.”
Stephen Jones says access to a quality mobile connection is still a major issue for many isolated communities in the region, particularly in Southern Highlands.
“It’s pleasing to see that areas like Berrima and Exeter have been included but there are still many more left in the dark”, said Jones.
“With such a large number of mobile blackspots and huge areas that don’t get broadband, it’s high time for Malcolm Turnbull to stump up to the region. People here want the same level of service that those in the Minister’s inner-city electorate take for granted.”