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Monday, 2 May 2016
Page: 3974

Mr WILSON (O'Connor) (13:55): I rise today to speak on behalf of Katharine Marsh, a young woman from a farm near Kojonup in my electorate of O'Connor. I plan to present a petition of 15,000 signatures in the near future on behalf of Katharine, who is campaigning for complete triple 0 access across the country. Katharine has asked me to tell her story:

My partner, Mick McInnes, died in a motorbike accident on 31st October, leaving me widowed and pregnant with a son who will never know his dad.

Sadly the accident occurred in a mobile black spot with '000' unable to be called.

20 precious minutes were lost seeking medical assistance.

Given Mick walked away and was conscious for almost two hours, this lost time probably would have saved his life.

I am devastated '000' is not accessible everywhere, and most mobile users are also unaware this is the case.

This is deplorable in a first world country.

      …      …      …

My petition for further funding and a deadline to resolve identified mobile black spots has now gathered 15000 written signatures.

The mobile black spot program is imperative—it is the difference between life and death.

Although the government has announced 60 new mobile phone towers for my electorate to eliminate black spots—and I anticipate many more in round 2—there is much more work to be done. Katharine's tragic story underlines the importance of addressing mobile phone black spots. We cannot rest until every Australian has emergency phone access, regardless of their location.