While applauding the announcement that the Coalition will spend $100 million nationally to improve mobile phone coverage in regional areas the Federal Member for Fisher, Peter Slipper has queried how much of this money would be spent in Fisher.
The LNP candidate Mal Brough has claimed that the $100 million commitment will improve mobile phone coverage in certain Hinterland areas.
“This is a problem on which I have been working with local communities, businesses and Telstra in the Beerwah/Glasshouse and Blackall Range areas for years” Mr Slipper said. “I have had numerous meetings with Telstra and concerned persons”
“Difficulties have been caused by both terrain and the economics of providing mobile phone coverage for a relatively small number of people” he added.
For instance Telstra told me that in the Conondale area it was not economic to install a tower as many locals using mobiles were connected to service providers other than Telstra thus making it economically not viable to install a tower by Telstra.
“In 2013 in Australia I find it unacceptable that mobile phone coverage does not extend to every part of the continent”, Mr Slipper added.
While the announced spending of $100 million is welcome it is a drop in the ocean compared with what the cost would be to extend mobile phone coverage to the whole country.
“I challenge the LNP candidate to tell us how much of the $100 million will be spent in Fisher. I suspect almost nothing will be spent here”.