Up to 12,000 households and businesses across regional Victoria will benefit from huge improvements to mobile coverage and connectivity, under an $86 million black spot elimination project unveiled today.
The Andrews Labor Government today announced a major project to construct 109 mobile towers across regional Victoria over the next three years, eliminating communication black spots and boosting the state’s regional economy by an estimated $120 million per year.
Project allocation for the black spots follows a successful joint bid by the Labor Government and Telstra to the Commonwealth Government’s $100 million Mobile Black Spot Programme.
The Labor Government has committed $21 million to the project, working collaboratively with Telstra and the Commonwealth Government to maximise the amount of funding available, generating a project worth $86 million to the state.
Public safety and emergency management were also high priorities in developing the Labor Government’s submission to the black spots programme.
Emergency Management Victoria, headed by Commissioner Craig Lapsley, played an important role in developing the joint submission and focussing on improved community access to emergency information in the event of bushfire.
The new mobile towers will be built across the regional municipalities of Alpine, Baw Baw, Benalla, Colac Otway, East Gippsland, Gannawarra, Glenelg, Golden Plains, Greater Geelong, Hepburn, Hindmarsh, Horsham, Indigo, Latrobe, Loddon, Macedon Ranges, Mansfield, Mildura, Mitchell, Moorabool, Mount Alexander, Murrindindi, Nillumbik, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, South Gippsland, Southern Grampians, Swan Hill, Towong, Wellington, West Wimmera, Yarra Ranges and Yarriambiack.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford
“This is a game-changer for our regional and rural communities.”
“With an extra 12,000 households and businesses across regional Victoria to gain mobile coverage, this project will not only connect our communities, it will drive economic growth and support local jobs across the state.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services, Jane Garrett
“This is a great project that will improve communications throughout the regions, providing much needed mobile coverage to small communities and areas prone to natural disasters in Victoria.”
“We have worked closely with Emergency Management Victoria to ensure the new towers will provide coverage and enable easier access to emergency information specifically in bushfire-prone areas.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020