INDEPENDENT Upper House MP for Western Victoria James Purcell is seeking community input to create a list of new mobile phone towers for the state’s south-west ahead of a visit from Victorian Minister for Trade and Investment Philip Dalidakis.
Mr Purcell invited Mr Dalidakis last month to come to the region to meet with the community and emergency services to discuss new tower options.
The minister’s visit will take place on Thursday next week.
“We will present the minister with a list of possible locations for new mobile phone towers in the south west that take into account areas of need identified by the community and emergency services,” Mr Purcell said.
“A proposal to put a new tower at Tower Hill was squashed by the community earlier this year. It wasn’t a good location and the community were right to say no to it. But we can’t punish them for speaking up, or walk away from the need.
He said proper consultation with the community and the inclusion of local emergency service teams in these discussions was important for identifying coverage blackspots and finding appropriate locations.
“Irrespective of postcodes, all Victorians deserve access to quality mobile coverage without blackspots.”
He said he understood that the vast majority of the $11 million in a state government mobile blackspot program had not been allocated and the government was working closely with Emergency Management Victoria to ensure locations for towers are based on merit and transparency, rather than “pork-barrelling”.
To fill out the online survey, head to jamespurcell.com.au/mobile-coverage-blackspots.