Labor whinges, the Coalition delivers

Senator the Hon. Fiona Nash
Minister for Regional Development
Minister for Local Government and Territories
Minister for Regional Communications
Deputy Leader of The Nationals
 

The Victorian Labor Party’s political tactic of whingeing at news it will receive 32 new mobile phone towers is laughable, Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash said today.

“Rather than thank the Coalition for 32 towers it would never have received under Federal Labor, Victorian Labor chooses to spin new mobile phone coverage into a negative. The political tactic of screaming “Not enough!” instead of saying “Thank you,” is childish and pathetic.

Facts:

  • Under rounds 1 and 2 of the Mobile Black Spot Program, 142 new or upgraded mobile base stations will be deployed in Victoria representing total investment of more than $114 million in new mobile phone infrastructure.
  • Victoria received around a quarter of Commonwealth funding under round 1.
  • Under the Federal Labor Government, Victoria would have received 0 mobile phone towers. Federal Labor does not and has never had a Mobile Black Spot Program, nor any plan to invest Federal Government dollars to improve mobile coverage.
  • In six years of Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Government, Labor did not help build one mobile tower nor invest one cent in mobile coverage for regional Victoria.
  • The Victorian Government’s co-contribution to the Federal Coalition program began under the former Victorian Coalition Government, not the Andrews Labor Government.
  • The 31 rejected tower applications from Victoria provided either no or very little new coverage (those which provided no coverage at all were ruled ineligible).
  • By calling for those towers to be funded, Labor is calling on the Coalition to waste taxpayer money on towers which provide little or zero benefit. The Coalition will not waste taxpayers’ money.
  • The successful sites were assessed and ranked against publicly available program guidelines. The final list was determined according to these guidelines by the Department of Communications, not the Minister, and the Government accepted the Department’s advice with no changes.
  • The Victorian Labor Government was consulted on the program guidelines used by the Department of Communications to choose the successful tower locations.
  • The Coalition will not be lectured on emergency services by an Andrews Labor Government which has aimed to decimate Victoria’s Country Fire Authority and its 60,000 volunteers for the sake of Labor’s union mates.

Thursday, 1 December 2016