Member for Western Victoria disappointed the Coalition won’t give any new money for mobile blackspots

File photo. Picture: Jason South.
File photo. Picture: Jason South.

Labor Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford said she is disappointed the Coalition won’t give any new money for mobile blackspots in the latest federal budget. 

“There are so many mobile blackspots in Western Victoria and that’s why I find it staggering that Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison can find $80 billion for big business tax cuts, but can’t find a single dollar for those needing better telecommunications,” Ms Pulford said.

This comes after the Victorian Labor government choose not to take part in the federal government’s blackspot program.

The state government have previously chosen to join two of the federal government’s blackspot programs, which provided funding for more than 140 mobile towers in Victoria. 

In November last year the federal government opened tenders for $60 million in a third and final round of its mobile blackspot program. 

The federal government prioritised 16 sites in Victoria for it’s blackspot program, all of which were Coalition-held electorates. 

The Andrews government decided not to take part in the federal government’s program, with the state government citing was due to a lack of consultation and transparency from the Turnbull Government.

In the Victorian 2018/19 budget allocated $11 million for the Victorian Mobile Black Spot Project, which will replace the federal government’s program in Victoria. 

Ms Pulford said the Labor Government is working with local councils, Regional Partnerships and Emergency Management Victoria to ensure the VMBSP funds mobile towers based on merit and necessity, rather than political interests.