$10 million fix for mobile phone black spots

If elected in March 2018 a Marshall Liberal Government will invest $10 million to fix the worst mobile black spots across regional South Australia.

“Mobile black spots plague our state and it is one of the biggest issues raised with me when I’m out in our regions,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“Inadequate mobile phone coverage hurts regional business productivity, stunts tourism growth and is also a serious safety issue for those living in our regions – it shouldn’t be a problem for South Australians in the 21st century.

“That’s why we will invest $10 million to provide mobile phone coverage to some of South Australia’s worst mobile black spots.

“We will work with telecommunications companies on delivering these new mobile phone towers and possible co-funding arrangements.

“Increasing connectivity will make regional businesses more productive, open up tourism opportunities and improve the lives and safety of those living in and traveling through our regions.

“Farming businesses are now heavily reliant on technology and greater connectivity will make these businesses more productive, which helps grow our economy and support regional jobs.

“Better mobile phone coverage in our regions also improves the safety of regional South Australians, especially in emergency situations such as bush fires where mobile phone coverage is needed to call for help, access important information or alert family and friends.

“Our $10 million commitment is more than five times the amount of funding the Weatherill Labor Government has contributed to the Federal Government’s mobile black spot program.

“The Weatherill Government was the only state government not to contribute any funding at all in round one of the program and only contributed a pathetic $1.5 million compared with the $144 million spent by all other state governments.

“Regional South Australians are understandably frustrated and sick and tired of being treated like second class citizens by this Weatherill Labor Government.”

The Adelaide Hills region is notorious for its mobile black spots and Liberal Candidate for Heysen Josh Teague and Liberal Candidate for Kavel Dan Cregan have both been fighting for mobile black spot funding.

“There are several blackspots in Kavel, particularly around Nairne, Brukunga, Dawesley, parts of Woodside, Carey Gully and Piccadilly,” said Mr Cregan.

“Mobile phone coverage is a basic service that everyone in our community relies on. It is especially important to be able to reach emergency services, to be able to contact the CFS or to check up on the wellbeing of family, friends and neighbours during hot weather.

“Also, our primary producers need reliable access to mobile-based weather updates and services. Some hills farmers are now using mobile-based internet services to monitor bores and irrigation systems and demand for those services is increasing throughout the state."

“A lot of businesses, including farming businesses, in the Adelaide Hills need mobile phone coverage to stay connected with suppliers, business partners or even staff,” said Mr Teague.

“I’ve had a lot of feedback from residents especially in and around the Meadows and Macclesfield areas, and also Strathalbyn through to Kuitpo, who are frustrated because they have to drive to the end of their drive or to the top of a nearby hill just to make a phone call.

“It’s a ridiculous situation and shouldn’t be a problem in this day and age and this $10 million investment will go a long way to improving the lives of many in our local community.”