The Coalition has again failed the fairness test when delivering its Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP) Round 3.
Shadow Minister for Regional Communications, Stephen Jones MP, criticised the lack of transparency and clear, evidence-based decision making in defining the Government’s Priority Locations list.
“There is no clear or transparent process for determining these Priority Locations. Instead, the Government is using Round 3 to deliver on the Coalition’s 2016 Election commitments when critical locations in bush-fire prone areas are missing out.
“The Australia National Audit Office (ANAO), Productivity Commission and Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) have all expressed concern at the administration of this program.
“The Productivity Commission found that there was ‘a risk that Australian Government funding is directed at expanding mobile coverage in locations for political reasons rather than to locations where overall community wellbeing might be better served.’
“Priority should be given to funding mobile black spots based on consultation with stakeholders such as State and Local governments and emergency services experts; and in response to evidence-based criteria.
“It’s time for the politics to be taken out of this program and for the Government to ensure a transparent, evidence-based approach is used when delivering funding in the future.”