Kanimbla Valley residents are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the Mobile Black Spot Programme Round Four after applications closed on January, 10.
The Australian Government announced mid last year it had allocated $25 million of Mobile Black Spot Program funding towards a fourth round, to improved mobile coverage to regional communities across Australia.
Applications closed on January 10 for telecommunication companies to submit their applications to the Federal Government.
Local Member Mr Andrew Gee has been very supportive and has been working with the local community to get better mobile coverage services.
“The site has been submitted for the upcoming black spot funding round and the ball is now in the court of Telstra and the other telcos to apply for the funding and submit a tender to the government for that location,” Mr Gee said previously.
“It’s vitally important that they do because without an application from the telcos for funding all of our work will count for nothing.”
Rural residents of Kanimbla Valley, Lowther, Hartley and surrounding areas have been pushing for suitable mobile phone and data services for number of years now.
Because of lack of action from Telco's, local residents started an action group call the Kanimbla Valley Mobile Phone Action Group.
The group has been working with community groups, Lithgow Council, RFS, and the Local MP to achieve an outcome.
Member of the Kanimbla Valley Mobile Phone Action Group, Jason Green said a phone tower would satisfy the needs of the whole community, including businesses and residents.
“It would be a huge relief for hundreds of local community members that would be able to go on with their daily lives without having that worry of not having phone service,” he said.
Lithgow City Council has also been very supportive of the group.
“They realise the issue facing our rural residents with landlines out of service periodically and no mobile phone service in most areas,” Mr Green said.
“Residents are just really concerned about safety.”
On December, 12, 2018 the local rural post lady got two flat tyres from a cattle grid on Cullenbenbong Road and had to walk two kilometres to raise the alarm and get help.
The post lady couldn’t use her mobile phone because of poor mobile phone coverage.
It’s incidents like this that have the community calling for better phone service.
But for now the community group awaits nervously for the outcome and are hoping for a positive announcement.
Ministers for Communications and Art, Senator Bridget McKenzie is expected review the applications shortly and make announcements thereafter.
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