14 March 2019

Labors Regional Communications Spokesperson, Stephen Jones, and Labor Candidate for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips today announced that Labor will provide up to $2 million in essential funding to help fix mobile blackspots along the Princes Highway.

This is critical infrastructure that saves lives in an emergency and is central to the daily life of all local residents and businesses.

The Princes Highway is the main arterial route along the NSW South Coast and fixing these black spots is a priority for the community.

Labor has identified the following places along the Princes Highway as priorities for fixing:

  • between Wandandian and Bewong;
  • between Moruya and Batemans Bay
  • near Broulee Road.

There are locations that should have been funded but were not and there are a number of black spots along the Princes Highway at Wandandian, near Broulee Road and at Moruya that are examples of this, said Mr Jones.

We must do more to help regional communities when it comes to mobile black spots, this is vital infrastructure that people rely on.

Fiona Phillips said that the announcement would make a huge difference to local communities.

The majority of residents and visitors travelling along the Princes Highway are totally frustrated with Scott Morrisons failed mobile phone rollout, which means they experience poor mobile coverage at home and at work, said Ms Phillips.

Mr. Morrisons poor mobile coverage program impacts families, students and small businesses in our region.We have a local economy that is dependent on tourism and retail so mobile phone coverage is vital, Ms Phillips said.

Stephen Jones said that Labor is strongly committed to improving regional connectivity and has long pledged to match the Coalition black spot program, dollar for dollar.

Not only is Labor funding mobile services, we are also committed to improving the whole Mobile Black Spot Program to address many of the criticisms and issues identified by the ANAO, ACCC, Productivity Commission and State Governments.

The Coalition are fond of saying that Labor did nothing for mobile coverage when in government. This is simply untrue.

Federal Labor has a strong track record of investment in regional communications focused on community needs.

This includes Labors once in a generation nation-building investment to improve regional communications for every Australian through the establishment of a National Broadband Network.

In Government, Labor also invested in the $250 million Regional Backbone Blackspots Program (RBBP), which is providing the essential backhaul needed for mobile base stations, Mr Jones said.