The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, and Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino, today held a round table forum on mobile phone coverage issues in the South West, drawing on key representatives from local communities.
“I am delighted that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications has been willing to come and meet with stakeholders here in my electorate to discuss mobile phone coverage,” Mrs Marino said.
“This was an important opportunity to raise issues and concerns directly with the senior Coalition representative responsible for overseeing our Mobile Black Spot Policy.”
At the last election, the Coalition committed $100 million to improve mobile phone coverage in small communities, locations prone to experiencing natural disasters, and along major transport routes.
Mr Fletcher has been meeting with communities across Australia to gain on-the-ground local feedback on how mobile telecommunications can be improved. These briefings will assist the Government in allocating funding for the program.
Mr Fletcher said inadequate mobile phone coverage was a significant concern for regional communities.
“Lives can literally depend on accessing mobile phone networks in emergencies, so expanding mobile phone coverage has clear benefits to public safety – as well as to the productive capacity of regional communities,” said Mr Fletcher.
“I appreciated the opportunity to join with the Member for Forrest and to hear from her constituents about mobile phone coverage and policy priorities from their perspective.
“These discussions will help inform important decisions the Government will be taking during 2014.”