20 October 2023

Albanese Government reaches important milestone on commitment to improve mobile coverage

The Albanese Government has reached an important milestone on its commitment to improve mobile coverage in Blaxlands Ridge, Maraylya and Yellow Rock with new funding delivered as part of the Improving Mobile Coverage Round.

The new funding will see Commonwealth co-investment with Telstra to build a new mobile base station at these locations subject to local planning approvals.

The new towers mean local residents and visitors will be able to access more reliable phone coverage, helping them stay connected with family and friends, and run successful local businesses.

These local grants form part of the $37.2 million awarded under the IMCR, which attracted $28.8 million in industry co-investment.

Improved mobile coverage at Mount Tomah is being delivered through the Regional Connectivity Program. Amplitel, on behalf of Telstra, lodged a development application on 16 October 2023.

Improved mobile coverage at Bowen Mountain is expected from the new Optus tower which received development consent on 20th October 2022.

The applications were independently assessed and approved by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Art (the Department), following a competitive grant process to identify a value for money solution in the area.

This dedicated round was funded in the October 2022 Federal Budget and delivers on the Government’s election commitments to co-invest Mobile Network Operators and Infrastructure Providers to deploy new mobile infrastructure at target locations across Australia.

The rollout schedule will be published on the carriers’ websites once the contracts have been executed.

In addition to this dedicated election commitment round, the Albanese Government is working to improve regional coverage through its $1.1 billion Better Connectivity Plan.

The Plan commits $400 million to expanding mobile coverage and improving communications resilience, including investment to fund future rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program, and $200 million to fund place-based communications solutions through additional rounds of the Regional Connectivity Program.

For more information, visit www.infrastructure.gov.au/mbsp.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:

“The Albanese Government has an ambitious agenda to narrow the digital divide in rural and regional Australia – including by improving mobile coverage."

“The Improving Mobile Coverage Round is a small part of our Government’s work to improve regional communications, and comes in addition to our $1.1 billion Better Connectivity Plan – the most significant investment in regional communications since the inception of the NBN.”

Quotes attributable to the Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman MP:

“It’s fantastic to see the Albanese Government delivering on its election commitments to ensure
communities across the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury are better connected.

“I look forward to seeing the benefits flow through the community as the project is rolled out.”