House debates

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Statements by Members

Groom Electorate: Telecommunications

1:41 pm

Photo of John McVeighJohn McVeigh (Groom, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm very pleased to acknowledge the official activation of the new mobile phone tower just off the Goombungee Meringandan Road north-west of Toowoomba. This was a priority location under the coalition government's Mobile Black Spot Program. Other areas have received attention under two previous rounds of the program. They included the Haden Maclagan Road, Doctors Creek Road, Mount Tyson and Hampton. The Meringandan and Highfields region is growing at a rapid rate, so it is vital that we keep up with the necessary telecommunications infrastructure to support local families and businesses.

The coalition is investing $220 million in fixing mobile black spots. That leverages the total investment of $680 million towards improving phone coverage—that is together with funding from state and local governments and, of course, from mobile network operators. The rollout of the first three rounds is on track to deliver 867 stations nationwide by June 2019. We announced a fourth round in October.

In contrast to this effort, Labor has never had such a round. The coalition has funded 867 black spots; Labor has funded zero—not interested. This is further proof that the Labor Party does not care in any way whatsoever about regional Australia.