WIMMERA residents experiencing mobile blackspot issues are encouraged to nominate locations for round four of the National Mobile Black Spot Program.
The federal government re-opened the mobile blackspot database last week for a four-week duration.
Residents are encouraged to make their coverage issues known to their local council and federal representatives.
Member for Mallee Andrew Broad said he would advocate on behalf of Wimmera residents.
“A major concern of many of our people is safety,” he said.
“I have heard plenty of stories about locals who are in an accident or an emergency in our patch and they can’t make a mobile phone call for help – it’s a very scary reality.
“We have had success in past rounds with 27 new or improved base stations in our local communities and that has been great, but we know there is more to be done.
“It is not unreasonable to expect mobile coverage across our regional communities as our metropolitan areas receive, and I am really looking forward to what can be delivered under this next round.
“I will be talking with local and state government as well as our local community members and carriers to nominate priority black spots in our patch.”
Optus switched on power to a tower in Yaapeet last month which was built as part of round two of the federal government program. The tower will also improve services between Hopetoun and Rainbow.
Work started on an Optus tower at Brimpaen in April, which will provide 4G and 3G services to people in the Laharum, Brimpaen and Wartook areas.
In July, the state government announced it would build new mobile phone towers at Areegra in Yarriambiack Shire, and Neuarpurr and Dergholm in West Wimmera Shire through the Victorian Mobile Black Spot Project.
The state government announced in January it had abandoned the fourth and final round of the federal government’s Mobile Black Spot Program in favour of its own system.
Chief executive Sunil Bhalla said it was essential that regional communities had access to reliable mobile services.
“Telecommunications infrastructure in the region must be addressed in order to fix mobile blackspots,” he said.
“This work is essential to the safety of our communities in the event of natural disaster and for the agricultural industry where reliable access to data is key to success.”
A map of registered blackspots in the Wimmera can be found here.