Justine Key and Stephen Jones: Local blackspots must be fixed

Labor's spokesperson on regional services and regional communications has called on the Turnbull Government to get on with fixing mobile black spots in north-west Tasmania.

"Regional communities have been waiting months to find out if they will make the list for Round 2 of the program, which was announced on 26 February this year" Mr Jones said.

"Today I'm in North West Tasmania, where I know local communities are struggling because of mobile black spot delays," Mr Jones said.

Federal Member for Braddon Justine Keay said the Federal Government needed to deliver on its commitment for mobile blackspot funding in Braddon.

“Residents of Gunns Plains, Sulphur Creek, Devonport and Yolla were promised six months ago that they would be getting new mobile base stations and yet the Government still haven’t made a formal announcement,” Ms Keay said.

“Considering the Australian National Audit Office found various issues with the Government’s rollout of the Mobile Black Spot Program I’m not surprised these delays have occurred, but it’s time to get on with the job.

According to the Australian National Audit Office, 25 per cent of new mobile phone towers funded in round one provided no new or no extended coverage.

“A number of residents and business owners are struggling with restricted access to mobile phone signal, which is simply unacceptable.”

Ms Keay was joined by Shadow Minister for Regional Communications Stephen Jones and a number of residents and businesses at Sulphur Creek.

Ms Keay said there had also been reports that the blackspot affected people driving between Sulphur Creek and Heybridge on the Bass Highway.

“If there is a serious incident along this road – motor accident or bushfire - I’m worried that a delay in getting an emergency call out could jeopardise people’s safety,” Ms Keay said.

Ms Keay said she welcomed an upcoming community information session to be hosted by Telstra at Sulphur Creek.

“It is pleasing to see that Telstra have taken the community’s concerns seriously and will be updating them on other options available in the meantime,” Ms Keay said.

Telstra will be hosting a community information session at the Sulphur Creek Memorial Hall on Wednesday 7 December between 4pm and 6pm with residents invited to attend.

Ms Keay has written formal questions on notice to the Minister for Regional Communications to clarify when this commitment will be honoured as well as when the phone base stations under Round 1 of the same program at Elliot, Gawler, Loyetea, Melrose, Sisters Beach, South Riana and Takone will be operational.

Telstra will be hosting a community information session at the Sulphur Creek Memorial Hall on Wednesday 7 December between 4pm and 6pm with residents invited to attend.

15 November 2016

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