No Yanchep or Gingin mobile black spot money

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WA is being ripped off by the federal government on mobile black spot funding, according to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan.

MOBILE black spots in the Yanchep and Gingin areas have not been successful in securing funding in the latest round of the $60 million-a-year program.

Seabird was selected for funding during one of the first two rounds of the mobile black spot program.

Yanchep News Online understands only seven Western Australian locations – Serpentine-Keysbrook, Bickley, Bullsbrook, Chidlow, Parkerville, Swan Valley and Lake Clifton – will receive funding.

The news angered Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan, who said the state’s GST share was just the tip of the iceberg and  now WA was being ripped off by the federal government on mobile black spot funding.

“WA takes up about one-third of the country – there is no question that black spots are a major issue for regional people and visitors across the state,’’ she said.

Ms MacTiernan said previously the federal government had consulted with state governments to prioritise locations for mobile phone towers.

But in the current round, no consultation took place and the funded locations were announced as election commitments.

She said the WA state government had contributed more than $53 million to the program during the past three years – $20m more than the next highest contributing state.

“We’re calling on the federal government to take an open and transparent look at WA’s needs on mobile black spots, and to stump up a fairer share for our state.”

Pearce MHR Christian Porter said the federal government expected the tender process to be finalised by the end of the year, with the rollout of successful towers to start early in the new year.

“It’s fantastic to see that the locations identified in consultation with our local communities are one step closer to receiving new and improved mobile coverage,” he said.

“I call on the telecommunications companies to give us their best tenders to deliver coverage to our area.”

The program guidelines for the priority locations round are available at www.communications.gov.au/mbsp