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South Australia to benefit from mobile boost



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Senator Bridget McKenzie 279 Hargreaves Street, Bendigo, VIC

Senator the Hon. Bridget McKenzie Deputy Leader of The Nationals Federal Minister for Sport Federal Minister for Rural Health Federal Minister for Regional Communications

The Hon. Tim Whetstone MP SA Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE 13/06/18

SOUTH AUSTRALIA TO BENEFIT FROM MOBILE BOOST

Regional South Australians are primed to break through the telecommunications divide, with both Commonwealth and state commitments to invest in new mobile phone base stations across the state.

Federal Minister for Regional Communications Bridget McKenzie and South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone have met to discuss a collaborative approach to mobile black spot funding.

As a result South Australia will co-invest with the Federal Government to build new towers, under the latest round of the Coalition’s $220 million Mobile Black Spot Program.

Minister McKenzie says South Australians are now in the box seat for better coverage.

“The Mobile Black Spot Program, which began in 2013, has had a transformative impact on the lives of regional Australians,” Minister McKenzie said.

“Across the country, we have seen the economic impacts delivered to regional communities as a result of being able to fully participate in the digital world.”

“Yet due to a lack of investment from the previous Labor state government, South Australians are yet to realise the full benefits of the program.”

The average state government funding contributions to the scheme is around 21% - yet the previous state Labor government only contributed 5.8% of the funding to the program for South Australian towers. As a result, only 37 of the 867 base stations funded under the program are located in South Australia.

Senator Bridget McKenzie 279 Hargreaves Street, Bendigo, VIC

Minister Whetstone said the South Australian Government will contribute $10 million to transform the state investment and fix coverage issues in the state.

“The Marshall Liberal Government was elected with an agenda to fix mobile phone black spots, and we are delivering,” Minister Whetstone said.

“The Liberal Government will partner with the Federal Government to ensure South Australia receives its fair share under the latest funding round of the Commonwealth Mobile Black Spot Program.”

“Living in a regional centre myself, I know first-hand how important reliable telecommunications is to country areas.”

“This $10 million commitment will ensure South Australian regional communities remain vibrant and sustainable and provide an economic boost to our country communities with the potential to save lives through better connectivity to emergency services.”

FAST FACTS:

 The Federal and South Australian Governments have agreed to work collaboratively to improve mobile connectivity in the states regions  The Federal Government has this week (10 June, 2018) announced a new $25 million funding round under the $220 million Mobile Black Spot Program  The South Australian Government will contribute $10 million to fix black spots

STATE NUMBER OF BASE STATIONS STATE CO-CONTIBUTION All states 867 20.8%

South Australia (under Labor) 37 5.8%

MEDIA CONTACT: Minister McKenzie: William Rollo 0436 409 743

Minister Whetstone: David Franchitto 0466 496 963