Member for Bonner Ross Vasta together with the Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield today announced that a re-elected Turnbull Coalition Team will deliver improved mobile phone coverage in Belmont, Burbank, Moreton Island and Gumdale, as part of an additional $60 million commitment to extend the successful Mobile Black Spot Programme.

“New mobile base stations in Belmont, Burbank, Moreton Island and Gumdale will bring a much-needed boost to mobile coverage, providing benefits to emergency service operators, businesses, and residents,” Mr Vasta said.

“I am pleased that under Round 1 of the Mobile Black Spot Programme, the electorate of Bonner will receive new mobile coverage to one mobile black spot area nominated by the public, with the results of Round 2 to be announced in the second half of 2016.

“The Turnbull Coalition Team understands the importance of mobile coverage in regional and remote areas of Australia and that is why we are committing an additional $60 million on top of the $160 million already invested in mobile black spots, bringing the Coalition’s total investment to $220 million,” Mr Vasta said.

To date, the Mobile Black Spots Programme has committed to 499 new or upgraded base stations covering around 3,000 black spots, which is the most significant one-time increase in mobile network coverage to regional and remote Australia.

Minister Fifield said the Coalition is committed to improving mobile coverage along major transport routes, in small communities and in locations prone to experiencing natural disasters, as well as addressing unique mobile coverage problems such as areas with high seasonal demand.

“Despite being in Government for six years, Labor did not spend one dollar on fixing mobile black spots in regional and remote Australia,” Minister Fifield said.

“The Coalition’s $220 million plan to address mobile black spots will ensure regional and remote communities have access to wider and more reliable mobile phone coverage.”

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Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP was pleased to announce that Burbank and Moreton Island residents will benefit from the Federal Government’s $100 million in Commonwealth funding for the first stage of the mobile black spot programme. 

There is a strong community demand for improved mobile phone coverage in Bonner and Mr Vasta has worked hard to ensure Bonner gets the upgrades it needs to address the problem.  

“Mobile phone black spots is one of the most frequently raised issue in Bonner. After years of neglect, I’m thrilled to see the Abbott Government investing into Bonner to help eliminate these blackspots,” Mr Vasta said. 

This is the first instalment of a wider programme that will see an additional investment of $60 million Australia wide. 

More broadly, Abbott Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme will deliver almost 500 new or upgraded mobile base stations around Australia – 429 Telstra base stations and 70 Vodafone base stations.

This is the most significant one time increase in mobile network coverage to outer metropolitan, regional and remote Australia delivered by a single public funding programme in the history of mobile communications in Australia.

The first base stations to be funded under the Programme will begin to roll out in the second half of 2015, and the full roll out will continue over a three year period.

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Mobile black spots in Bonner will be eligible for funding proposals under the Abbott Government’s $100 million Mobile Black Spot Programme, Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta, said today.

The programme today reached a key milestone with the start of the formal competitive selection process to determine the location of new mobile phone base stations in regional and remote Australia.

“The Abbott Government has committed to invest $100 million to improve mobile phone coverage in outer metropolitan, regional and remote Australia,” Mr Vasta said.

“I receive consistent community feedback that action needs to be taken to fix mobile black spots in Bonner. Today, the government has started a competitive selection process which will see mobile network operators and infrastructure providers bid for funding to provide new or improved mobile coverage.”

With the programme guidelines now issued, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and other bidding parties can start to prepare their proposals, which must be lodged by March 2015.

“This is about delivering on the Coalition’s election commitment to boost mobile coverage in regional and remote Australia,” said Paul Fletcher MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications.

“We estimate this $100 million of Commonwealth funding will leverage an additional $100 million in investment from bidders and other parties including state and local government – bringing total investment to $200 million,” he said.

In their proposals, bidders will need to set out the locations where they intend to build new or upgraded base stations.

For each location, the bidder will need to specify the funding it seeks from the government; the amount it is putting in, and funding from any other sources.

It will also need to give information about the coverage benefits the base station will offer – for example, the area in square kilometres to get new coverage from the base station.

The government will consider all the proposals, and choose the base stations to receive funding.  This may include a mix of base stations from different bidders.

The process is designed to maximise competition in two ways – between locations, and between bidders – to get as many new base stations as possible for the money.

“We aim to announce the locations of the base stations to be funded during the first half of 2015 – and we expect the first base stations under the programme will begin to roll out in the second half of 2015,” said Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull.

The programme is expected to fund between 250 and 300 new mobile phone base stations around Australia.

The funding guidelines can be viewed at:

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