New funding to help improve mobile coverage in the Hawkesbury

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Hawkesbury residents will benefit from new and improved mobile coverage under Round 5 of the Morrison McCormack Government’s $380 million Mobile Black Spot Program.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, the Hon Mark Coulton MP, and Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, today announced the electorate of Macquarie will receive funding for three new base stations in Colo, Upper Colo and Putty respectively, under Round 5 of the Program, providing improved mobile coverage in the community.

Senator Payne said the funding would help improve mobile coverage in the Upper Hawkesbury River region.

“The provision of funding for new mobile black spot solutions is particularly timely given the recent bushfires that swept through the Wollemi National Park, and beyond,” Senator Payne said.

“The rollout of base stations is the responsibility of mobile network operators, and this complex work does take time to get it right.

“While no telecommunications network is 100 per cent impervious to damage from natural disasters, Australians naturally want to be confident our communications networks are as resilient as possible. The Mobile Black Spot Program is an important part of this as it provides an alternative communications option if another network goes down during an emergency situation.

“Our Government will continue to work with the community to progress the Mobile Black Spot Program.”

Minister Fletcher said Round 5 of the program will fund a further 182 new base stations for regional and remote communities across Australia.

“The announcement of successful Round 5 locations today brings the total number of base stations being funded under the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program to 1,229, underlining our ongoing commitment to providing new and improved mobile connectivity to Australians across the country.”

“Improved mobile connectivity makes it possible for Australians to stay connected, access education services, conduct business and remain in contact with family and friends. These activities are critical year-round, but particularly important with people responding to the COVID-19 crisis and spending more time at home,” said Minister Fletcher.

Minister Coulton said, “Our Mobile Black Spot program is connecting regional communities and businesses, enabling them to contribute more effectively to our local, regional and national economies.”

The Federal Government is contributing a total of $34 million to Round 5 of the Program, which will deliver total new investment of more than $73 million together with co-contributions from the funding recipients and state governments.

More than $836 million is being invested in new mobile infrastructure in regional and remote Australia across the five rounds.

This comes as the Mobile Black Spot Program passes a significant milestone with more than 800 mobile base stations now on air across Australia, meaning more coverage in more rural areas.

“More than 77 per cent of the 1047 base stations funded through the first four rounds of the Program are now complete taking us past the 800 mobile base station milestone. I thank Telstra, Optus and Vodafone for their work in getting us to this point, and importantly for their ongoing commitment to the Program,” Minister Fletcher said.

Round 5 base stations are scheduled to roll out in the coming months with the first new base stations expected to be activated by the end of the year.

To view the full list of Round 5 locations visit, or to provide feedback on the discussion paper on the design of future rounds, visit: communications.gov.au/mbsp

Media

Sign up to Marise's Newsletter