Malcolm Turnbull Ignores Victorian Communities Again

Only 32 out of 63 of some of Victoria’s most poorly connected communities will receive funding for new mobile towers under round two of the Commonwealth Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme (MBSP).

The Andrews Labor Government provided $11 million in the Victorian Budget 2016/17 for the new sites through joint submissions with Telstra and Optus to round two of the Commonwealth’s $60 million MBSP.

Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley also played a critical role in developing our submission to ensure Victoria’s regional communities had the best chance of receiving funding.

Victoria’s submission has once again fallen on deaf ears as the Turnbull Government continues to play political games with the state’s infrastructure funding.

Not only is the Turnbull Government short-changing Victorians on transport infrastructure, they’re now taking important funds away from our most disconnected regional communities, many of which are in bushfire-prone areas.

There are 16 Telstra sites and 16 Optus sites that received some funding under round two of the program – a good outcome for Victorians in those communities that will benefit from improved connectivity.

The Labor Government has been working with Telstra since late 2015 to roll out the sites funded under round one of the MBSP, with 28 of the 109 mobile base stations currently activated and 32 expected to be up and running by the end of 2016.

A full list of locations and further program details can be found at www.communications.gov.au/mobile_coverage

Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis

“Malcolm Turnbull needs to stop short-changing Victorians. We are the fastest growing state, home to 25 per cent of the nation’s population, yet Victoria still receives less than 10 per cent of federal infrastructure funding.”

“This project is crucial for our regional households and businesses that currently struggle to get mobile coverage – it is vital to our economy and to jobs in regional Victoria.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford

“We have worked closely with Emergency Management Victoria to ensure the state’s submission for this round of funding prioritised our most vulnerable regional communities in bushfire-prone areas – this cannot be ignored.”

“Rural and regional Victorians are sick and tired of Malcolm Turnbull’s data drought.”

Full list of regional municipalities to receive new mobile towers under MBSP round two:
1 x Alpine
1 x Baw Baw
1 x Buloke
1 x Cardinia
3 x Colac-Otway
1 x Gannawarra
1 x Glenelg
2 x Horsham
1 x Indigo
1 x Macedon Ranges
1 x Mansfield
1 x Mitchell
1 x Murrindindi
3 x Pyrenees
2 x South Gippsland
1 x Surf Coast
3 x Towong
2 x Wellington
1 x Whittlesea
1 x Wodonga
2 x Yarra Ranges
1 x Yarriambiack