Benalla residents will soon see an improvement to mobile black spots in the area, after Federal Member for Indi Cathy McGowan took steps to make improvements last week.
McGowan and local mayors met with Victoria’s Trade and Investment, Innovation and Digital Economy Minister Philip Dalidakis to discuss priority mobile black spots in the north east.
The Victorian Government last month announced it would provide $11 million to invest in building new mobile phone towers across regional Victoria.
‘‘I welcome the commitment by the Victorian Government to partner with the telecommunications industry and the community to build these towers,’’ Ms McGowan said.
‘‘This visit is an opportunity to present the minister with the work done by the Indi Telecommunications Action Group (ITAG) and discuss how the Victorian program will work with local governments to prioritise remaining black spot sites in Indi.
‘‘Funding has been secured for 38 mobile phone towers in Indi through the Commonwealth Mobile Black Spot Program.
‘‘The Federal Government is yet to commit to Round Four of this program.
‘‘I will continue to press the Coalition and particularly the National Party to ensure funding is made available in the 2018-19 Federal Budget.
‘‘Rounds One and Two of the Commonwealth Mobile Black Spot Program worked well in Indi as a partnership between the community, local, state and federal governments.
‘‘I commend a similar partnership under the new Victorian Government program.’’
This will be a welcomed improvement for phone coverage around Benalla, with about 16 black spots still existing in surrounding areas.
Work sites and emergency services should see the biggest improvement in mobile coverage, with the program targeting improvements in those areas specifically.