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Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd announced Rubyvale and Lochington State School as two of the towns to receive new base stations and better mobile coverage as part of Round 5 of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.
Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd announced Rubyvale and Lochington State School as two of the towns to receive new base stations and better mobile coverage as part of Round 5 of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.

Multi-million dollar investment improves CQ phone coverage

A MULTI-MILLION dollar investment will ensure Central Highlands’ visitors and residents can make phone calls and browse the internet with ease.

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd yesterday announced Rubyvale and Lochington State School were two of the towns to receive new base stations and better mobile coverage as part of Round 5 of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.

Gemseekers Caravan Park owner Terry Gilshnan said it would be a welcome investment to many businesses across Rubyvale.

“If you want good service you have to stand with your hand up and put one leg out,” he said.

“In the middle of town they don’t get service. It’s just the way it is.”

Mr Gilshnan said many businesses and houses struggled with both mobile phone and TV coverage.

“It’s not so bad here but the other caravan park is too low to get a signal,” he said.

“Rubyvale is like a dish, as you get deeper into it you get less coverage, but we’re lucky because we’re on the outer rim.”

The business owner said the improved mobile coverage would be great for when tourism picked up again but, since the onset of coronavirus, they had no customers for it to worry.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said Round 5 of the program would fund a further 182 new base stations for regional and remote communities across Australia.

“Improved mobile connectivity makes it possible for Australians to stay connected, access education services, conduct business and remain in contact with family and friends,” he said.

“These activities are critical year-round, but particularly important with people responding to the COVID-19 crisis and spending more time at home.”

Mr O’Dowd said the announcement would be a welcome change to many who had dealt with a lack of mobile phone coverage for too long.

More than $836 million is being invested in new mobile infrastructure in regional and remote Australia across the five rounds, which has so far funded 1229 new base stations.

Round 5 base stations are scheduled to roll out in the coming months with the first new base stations expected to be activated by the end of the year.



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