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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 6296


Mr HASTIE (Canning) (16:44): I am pleased to report to the Chamber that another mobile base station has opened in the shire of Waroona thanks to this government's Mobile Black Spot Program. Mobile towers are critical infrastructure of regional Australia. Our regional communities, particularly people working in the agriculture industry, need reliable phone and mobile broadband access. This is vital to ensure Australia remains competitive in the modern global economy.

I know this tower in the north of Waroona is already making a big difference for local families and businesses. I should also note the importance of the Mobile Black Spot Program from the perspective of bushfire management and prevention. The Waroona-Yarloop fires of 2016 were devastating for the local community, and improved telecommunications infrastructure like this tower will ensure we are better prepared for the next bushfire season. That is why I commend the government for its recently announced round 4 of the Mobile Black Spot Program. The coalition has already invested over $220 million into building 867 mobile towers across Australia. Round 4 will see an additional $25 million put into the program—money well spent. This contrasts with Labor who, when in government, failed to allocate a single dollar to addressing mobile coverage in regional Australia. Only the coalition can be relied upon to deliver better mobile telecommunications to regional Australians.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms Claydon ): It being 4.45 pm, in accordance with standing order 43 the time for members' statements has concluded.