Paul Fletcher and Ken O'Dowd.
Paul Fletcher and Ken O'Dowd.

Move to cut back black spots

AREAS in regional Queensland, including Ubobo in the Boyne Valley and Dingo in the Central Highlands, will benefit from new and upgraded mobile base stations, announced today as part of the Australian Government's $100 million Mobile Black Spot Program.

Federal member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said he was pleased to be able to deliver the good news to residents in rural areas that have been fighting to receive adequate mobile coverage.

"This has been a problem for such a long time, and I have campaigned for my region to get proper consideration under the program, which obviously has now been confirmed," Mr O'Dowd said.

"Our government has a strong belief in helping regional Queenslanders and I've been a strong advocate for this programme from the beginning."

Mr O'Dowd's electorate will receive a total funding package of $7.65 million, with $2.58 million provided by the federal government program.

"Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher said that the outcome of the Mobile Black Spot Program had significantly exceeded expectations.

"Almost 500 new or upgraded mobile base stations will be built across regional and remote Australia, covering a total of 3,000 mobile black spots from the more than 6,000 black spots nominated by the public," Mr Fletcher said.

"The Programme has delivered substantial competitive benefits, with both Telstra and Vodafone granted funding to build new or upgraded base stations."

Under the programme, the Flynn electorate will receive funding for ten new or upgraded base stations.

Locations include Bucca in the Bundaberg region, Coalstoun Lakes and Mulgildie in North Burnett, Durong in South Burnett, and Rannes in Banana Shire.

Another 45 of the 159 mobile black spots will be addressed by handheld or external antenna coverage.

"I will be in touch with each of the local governments that are benefitting from the programme, and as things start to happen, I will make sure I'm part of the process," Mr O'Dowd said.

The first base stations to be funded under the program 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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