THE switch has been flicked at a new telecommunications mobile base station in the Banana Shire, boosting mobile phone coverage in the Jambin area.
The move is a joint program between Commonwealth and State Governments, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said today.
The Jambin base station, west of Gladstone on the Burnett Highway, is one of 68 new or upgraded mobile base stations being installed in Queensland under the Commonwealth Government's Mobile Black Spot Programme.
"Mobile phone coverage was an issue for local residents and I heard first hand their difficulties during Cyclone Marcia which meant they may not have received emergency warnings," the Premier said.
"The Queensland Government identified this area as a priority and our $260,000 co-funding support helped secure Commonwealth funding for this mobile base station and will help to ensure better coverage for the local community, visitors and motorists passing through the area."
Queensland Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said having adequate mobile phone coverage was critical for people living outside major cities.
"By helping to expand coverage here at Jambin and other black spots across Queensland, we are delivering benefits for public safety, business, education, tourism and much more."
Commonwealth Minister for Communications, Senator Mitch Fifield said the new Jambin base station was part of the rollout of round 1 of the MBSP.
"The Australian Government understands the importance of mobile coverage in regional and remote areas of Australia, which is why we allocated $100 million for round 1 and a further $60 million for round 2," Minister Fifield said.
In addition to the Commonwealth and Queensland Government's funding commitments, the MBSP has leveraged significant investment from local councils.
Telstra Country Wide Area General Manager for the Sunshine Coast and Central Queensland, Kris Carver, said the expansion of mobile coverage in the area was another example of Telstra's ongoing commitment to regional and rural Australia.
"This is a significant moment for our customers in Jambin who have had their call answered for better mobile coverage," Mr Carver said.
The Queensland Government has invested $10 million in round 1 of the MBSP. Nationally, the Commonwealth Government contributed a total of approximately $100 million to fix mobile black spots, including $16 million in Queensland.
The new and upgraded base stations to be built nationally under round 1 of the program will provide new handheld coverage to 68,600 square kilometres and new external antenna coverage to over 150,000 square kilometres, and over 5,700 kilometres of major transport routes will receive new handheld or external antenna coverage.