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 South Australian Labor Government has humiliated itself by confusing Rounds 2 and Round 3 of the Federal Coalition Government’s Mobile Black Spots Program, Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash said today.
“South Australian Labor is like the kid in the classroom accusing another student of stealing their lunchbox from their bag when the truth is they took it out earlier and left it under their desk,” Minister Nash said.
“Today we announced the Round 2 outcomes, a process which began in February. Round 2 and Round 3 have different rules and aims – Round 2 puts towers into sites selected by telecommunications companies. The companies tend to choose areas which have the highest population base but do not have coverage. Round 3 targets sites nominated by local MPs, considered unlikely to ever receive coverage under normal circumstances – often very small towns which are rural or remote.
“This was the logical progression as the Program moved to push coverage further and further away from the cities.
“The sites SA Labor is confused about are Round 3 sites. The fact one of the Round 3 sites was successful under Round 2 is a bonus for the community which the SA Government is attempting to spin as negative news. The Coalition remains committed to delivering coverage to all Round 3 sites.
“In Round 1, South Australia refused to invest and received just 11 of 499 towers as a result. Victoria’s $21 million saw it receive 110 towers and the NSW investment of $24 million saw it win 144 towers.
“In Round 2, South Australia offered $2 million into a total funding pool, including contributions from other State Governments, of $213 million. Now it tries to blame the Coalition for its poor result.
“Under a Federal Labor Government, SA would have received zero towers. Federal Labor does not and never has had any plan to deliver mobile phone coverage to regional SA. In six years of Government it failed to build a single tower nor invest a single cent into mobile phone coverage.”
Thursday, 1 December 2016