MOBILE coverage in WA has been given another boost, with the announcement of a joint funding agreement between the WA and Federal Governments today.
Commerce Minister Michael Mischin and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the money would deliver 109 of 130 new or upgraded mobile base stations in WA under the Mobile Black Spot Program.
Mr Mischin said $118.07 million would be invested in the State, with $32 million being contributed by the WA Government from the Royalties for Regions-funded Regional Telecommunications Project (RTP).
He said the additional funding from the Commonwealth would deliver 130 new or upgraded mobile base stations across WA, an increase from the 85 originally planned under the RTP. These are in addition to 23 sites already announced under the RTP.
“The 130 sites are predominately focused on small communities and strategic locations in the southern half of the State, following on from the previous Regional Mobile Communications Project (RMCP), which targeted small communities and transport corridors primarily in the north of the State,” Mr Mischin said.
“Some of the highest priority areas include Salmon Holes, which has been the scene of numerous rock fishing incidents, as well as Mt Frankland West, Tindale Road Plantagenet in the South West and Great Southern in order to assist emergency service organisations.
“In addition, the entire route from Minilya to Exmouth will be covered to promote public safety and tourism development and three towers will cover the length of the Ferguson Valley in the South West to improve community amenity and tourism.
“Most notably, more than 30 communities in the Wheatbelt will receive coverage for the first time to boost economic development.”
Mr Redman said connectivity was fundamental to improving the productivity, competitive standing and wellbeing of regional WA.
“The program will improve mobile coverage along major transport routes in WA, in small communities and in locations prone to experiencing natural disasters, as well as addressing unique mobile coverage problems,” Mr Redman said.
“It builds on the Royalties for Regions-funded $40 million RMCP, which was completed in September 2014 and successfully delivered 113 towers across nine regions. This first project and the current $45million Regional Telecommunications Project brings the State Government’s total investment in building phone towers in regional WA to $85 million since 2011.”
A map of locations in WA that will receive new or upgraded coverage under the Mobile Black Spot Program is available from http://www.communications.gov.au/ mobile_coverage