Morrison Government delivers new funding to help address Hawkesbury telecommunications

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Following a strong community campaign led by Liberal for Macquarie, Sarah Richards, and Mayor Patrick Conolly, telecommunications coverage in bushfire-impacted Hawkesbury communities will receive a boost from the Morrison Government under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program.


Hawkesbury City Council will receive over $4.1 million to work with Telstra to install new three new base stations at Berambing, Central MacDonald and Upper Colo. 


In addition to the new base stations, a 4G Small Cell at St Albans and two new 4GX-lite Mobile Satellite Small Cells at Upper Macdonald and Higher Macdonald will also be installed. 


These technology solutions will allow more residents to access new technology where it is otherwise very difficult to do so.


Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said improving coverage was a priority for the Morrison Government.


“Back in March last year, Liberal for Macquarie, Sarah Richards, and Mayor Patrick Conolly made the case directly to Telstra that improvements needed to be made to fixed line and mobile network services,” Senator Payne said.


“I’m pleased that with federal funding, and off the back of Ms Richards and Mr Conolly’s advocacy, this joint initiative will now see Council and Telstra team up to deliver new infrastructure to fix coverage issues.


“This latest investment is in addition to the Morrison Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, through which we have funded eleven base stations, with seven already complete, with more base stations expected to be turned on later this year.”


In addition to the joint telecommunications study, Senator Payne also highlighted another successful applicant, Kurrajong Heights Bowling & Recreation Club.


Senator Payne said the Club will receive over $811,000 to establish a Disaster Management Bushfire Staging Area to provide increased capacity for residents to manage future fires by having access to essential water supplies.


“Members of the Bilpin community worked very hard to pull together this application, so I am pleased to see funding flow, in full, for this worthwhile project.”


Mayor Conolly welcomed the Morrison Government’s latest wave of bushfire funding.


“Last year Clr Sarah Richards chaired an enquiry into telecommunications in the Hawkesbury and we took the results to the government to advocate for the improvements we need,” Mayor Conolly said. 


"I'm very pleased to see such a significant investment from the federal government following our advocacy. It’s going to make a huge difference in future emergency situations.”


In addition to these projects, the following proponents have also been successful: 


  • Hawkesbury City Council will receive over ​​$196,000 for new signage that identifies roads, bridges, creeks and other key features. 
  • Hawkesbury City Council will receive over $330,000 to design and construct a new ​​car park adjacent to the Bilpin Community Centre. The carpark will double as a key staging area.
  • Hawkesbury City Council will receive $78,000 for the installation of new shade shelters at Bilpin Oval, Colo Heights Reserve and St Albans Park playgrounds.
  • Hawkesbury City Council will receive over $158,000 for the production and presentation of a new exhibition that will explore the residents’ experiences of the bushfires.
  • The Macdonald Association will receive over $280,000 for to help provide  residents with access to and training in critical 2-way radio communications and emergency kit resources. 
  • Hawkesbury Independent School Inc will receive over $185,000 for the installation of two large capacity water tanks, a rooftop sprinkler system to reduce the risk of ember attack and a solar and battery system which would run access to the water supply even in times of emergency.
  • Rufftrack Limited will receive over $453,000 to upskill and engage vulnerable young people through nine land rehabilitation projects in the Macdonald Valley.
  • St Albans School of Arts Hall Incorporated will receive $455,000 to upgrade the community hall, which will include a new kitchen and improved access points.


For a full list of funded projects, and for further information, visit the National Recovery and Resilience Agency website at: