Firsthand look at blackspots on the Fraser Coast
PARLIAMENTARY Secretary to the Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher met with residents and businesses in Hervey Bay on Thursday to discuss mobile coverage blackspots across the region.
The discussions came as part of an ongoing program aimed at public funding to rural areas across Australia that are not receiving adequate mobile coverage under the commercial policies of the three big carriers, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.
In December last year, Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt invited residents to comment on a discussion paper on how to structure the Coalition's $100 million program to improve mobile coverage in regional Australia.
Wide Bay areas such as Woodgate and Cordalba were highlighted as blackspots in the meeting.
Mr Pitt said local residents, health workers, real estate agents and telecommunications providers also voiced their concerns about mobile coverage issues.
"Inadequate mobile phone coverage is a significant concern for regional communities," he said.
Mr Fletcher opted to drive along the Bruce Highway as part of his tour throughout southern and central Queensland.
"I wanted to experience firsthand the many mobile coverage issues along Queensland's major arterial road," he said.
Fraser Coast residents will have to wait until next year before they see potential improvements.
"The objective is the first base stations funded under the program start to roll out in the second half of next year," Mr Fletcher said.