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Monday, 3 December 2018
Page: 12351

Mr RICK WILSON (O'Connor) (16:33): I rise today to update the House on the government's Mobile Black Spot Program, which has delivered real results for communities in my electorate of O'Connor. Seventy-four towers have been delivered, with a further 11 due for completion by June 2019. Three towers in the south-west of my electorate became frustrated due to the complexities of negotiating lease agreements at Napier and obtaining suitable sites and planning approvals at Ocean Beach and Salmon Holes. Napier is a small community north of Albany with no mobile phone coverage. The community was ravaged by fire in May, resulting in the loss of property, but, thankfully, no lives. The Napier Progress Association, together with Chief Fire Control Officer Brett Smoker, called a meeting in July, which effectively resolved the circumstances which had frustrated the tower.

I'm now pleased to report that the Napier tower is forecast to be delivered in 2019. The Ocean Beach tower—frustrated due to difficulties in acquiring a suitable location on WA government land, and planning approvals—has also made progress. An alternative site has been identified which will provide good coverage to residents living at Ocean Beach as well as the caravan park and the popular William Bay tourist area. Subject to approvals, the base station is expected to be completed by June 2019.

There is only one tower in my electorate that still requires a solution, and that is Salmon Holes. On average, two people per year have lost their lives at this notorious fishing spot. I have met with local emergency services volunteers who are desperate to find a solution, and I will continue to work hard on this until Salmon Holes has mobile phone coverage.