Residents and visitors to Culla, in Victoria’s south west, will see significant improvements in mobile coverage and connectivity from today as the area became the 100th nationally to receive a new mobile tower under Telstra’s rollout of the Commonwealth’s Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP).
The site takes Victoria’s total to 37 of the 141 new mobile base stations to be constructed and activated across the state, after the Andrews Labor Government committed $32 million in successful joint bids with Telstra and Optus in the first two funding rounds of the MBSP.
The sites selected will radically improve mobile coverage and connectivity for up to 15,000 households and businesses across regional Victoria and are expected to boost the state’s regional economy by $150 million per year.
The new towers will also enable improved public safety and access to emergency management services in the event of a natural disaster such as bushfires.
Culla, near Casterton, is a brand new base station that will provide expanded 3G/4G mobile coverage for residents and businesses. Other new mobile base stations up and running in the Southern Grampians Shire include Pigeon Ponds and Muntham, with new mobile towers also to be constructed at Mirranatwa, Nareen and Victoria Valley.
The Labor Government will continue to explore opportunities to work with the Commonwealth, local governments and mobile carriers to provide additional mobile coverage to Victorian communities that missed out on funding in the first two rounds of the MBSP.
A full list of locations being funded is available at www.communications.gov.au/mobile_coverage.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis
“The Labor Government is working hard to help improve mobile connectivity in regional Victoria, ensuring communities like Culla can access reliable mobile services when they need them most.”
“We will continue to advocate to the Commonwealth with carriers and local government to ensure Victoria’s most disconnected communities receive the infrastructure funding they need to stay connected.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“Having mobile coverage is a lifeline for people in rural Victoria. Being better connected is essential for public safety, tourism, primary production, business growth and access to health and education services.”
“Through this program we are significantly improving mobile coverage for thousands of households and businesses, which will not only help them connect but will significantly boost our regional economy.”