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Monday, 1 September 2014
Page: 9080

Mobile Phone and Internet Services

Dear Dr Jensen

Thank you for your letter dated 15 May 2014, concerning a petition submitted to the Standing Committee on Petitions, regarding poor mobile phone coverage at Shelford (886/1355),

The Australian Government recognises the importance of reliable mobile coverage to Australians. While mobile phone carriers claim to provide coverage to 99 per cent of Australia's population, there are still some areas that have no coverage, particularly in regional and remote locations.

Expanding mobile coverage has clear economic and social benefits, as well as public safety benefits for people living, working and travelling in regional and remote areas.

The Government is investing $100 million to improve mobile phone coverage in some outer metropolitan, regional and remote communities which do not currently have reliable coverage. The Government's $100 million investment is expected to generate at least matching funding from local and state governments, communities and industry.

The Mobile Black Spot Programme will improve coverage along major transport routes, in small communities and in locations prone to experiencing natural disasters, as well as addressing unique mobile coverage problems.

Further information on the Mobile Black Spot Programme is available on the Department of Communications' website (

I am pleased to advise that Shelford is an area that will be eligible for the programme. The information provided about mobile coverage in Shelford has been added to the database we are building of areas reported to have poor coverage. This database will be shared with the mobile carriers and other interested players to assist them in preparing their proposals under this programme.

To ensure that the Shelford community is aware of the opportunities presented by the Mobile Black Spot Programme, I have tasked my Department to contact the petition organisers and provide any assistance that is necessary.

Thank you from bringing this petition to my attention and I trust this information will be of assistance.

from the Minister for Communications, Mr Turnbull