Debate over mobile coverage funding

FORREST MHR Nola Marino has hit back at State Government claims the Federal Government has overlooked WA by providing only seven locations in the latest round of mobile black spot funding and only one in regional WA.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan recently accused the Federal Government of not consulting the State before allocating funding in the latest round of the Mobile Black Spot Program.

“Our GST share is just the tip of the iceberg – now WA is now being ripped off by the Federal Government on mobile black spot funding,” she said.

“WA takes up about one-third of the country – there is no question that black spots are a major issue for regional people and visitors across the State.

“We’re calling on the Federal Government to take an open and transparent look at WA’s needs on mobile black spots and to stump up a fairer share for our State.” However, Mrs Marino said the State Government was yet to provide any funding of its own.

“The Turnbull Government created the Mobile Black Spot program when we came to office, which has greatly improved mobile coverage across Australia through over 750 new mobile towers, including 19 in Forrest,” she said.

“This is in comparison to no towers, no program and no improved coverage in the six years Labor were in office.

“The towers received some funding from the Barnett Government the McGowan Government, like the Rudd/Gillard Government, hasn’t chipped in a red cent.” Mrs Marino said she would continue to work to provide greater mobile coverage in the South West.

“Last week I opened the Yallingup tower, with Nannup East and Margaret River having a tower completed earlier this month,” she said.

“A further 11 towers will be completed next year.

“People, emergency services and businesses will benefit from the Turnbull Government’s vital infrastructure.”

Source: Bunbury Herald.