Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says the welfare of local communities could be at risk if mobile black spot areas are not addressed.
Ms Sheed said the lack of mobile phone reception in towns such as Katunga and Katandra West, and along the Murray River, was a safety issue and needs to be addressed by the Victorian Government as a priority.
The Victorian Government announced in January it had abandoned the Commonwealth Mobile Black Spot Program in favour of its own system, pledging to spend $11m building new mobile towers across regional Victoria.
Ms Sheed she had raised her concerns about the poor local coverage in Parliament.
“This has been an issue for my constituents for a long time,” Ms Sheed said.
“There was some hope that coverage would improve for Katunga when the town was listed as a priority area under the Commonwealth scheme and I would hope it remains a priority for this Victorian Government.
“Katandra West also faces inadequate reception and in 2018 this is just not acceptable.
“Mobile phone coverage should not be a luxury. I and many of my constituents hold grave concerns about what the poor coverage could mean in an emergency when vital safety information cannot be relayed – particularly along the Murray River during peak summer camping periods.
“Today during Question Time I asked the Government to advise what action would be taken to appropriately assess and improve the lack of mobile phone coverage in the Shepparton District electorate and to ensure our communities receive the service they deserve.”
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