“Time is running out for remote communities to be considered for mobile phone Black Spot Funding.” Warren Snowdon, Member for Lingiari said today.
Mr Snowdon was responding to the Morrison Government announcement of its final round for the program which has no funding beyond this year.
Only a small number of Territory communities have benefitted from the program after the announcement of successful applicants in Rounds One and Two.
The Government is yet to announce the successful applicants from Round Three and applications are now open for the Fourth and final round of funding.
Lingiari has 372 Identified black spots that need mobile coverage for safety, emergency, travel and business reasons.
Only 20 have been funded to date and these are mainly roadhouse and tourist spots while remote communities miss out.
This means that many of the communities of the Territory which are home to hundreds of Territorians will continue to have no mobile service. A service that now most Australians take for granted.
Mr Snowdon was speaking in Parliament of the vital importance of mobile phone coverage to people living, working and travelling in regional and remote parts of the country.
In particular Mr Snowdon recognised the enterprise and initiative of the Centre for Appropriate Technology in Alice Springs to partner up with the CLC to host trials of their successful mobile hot spot technology that extends mobile range.
The trial led the NT Government and Aboriginal Benefit Account to fund a major roll-out of the technology. The hot spots are located along isolated parts of the major highways and in communities across Central Australia.
‘A regional solution to a regional need’ Mr Snowdon said.