THE Coalition has announced that if elected, it would invest $30 million into telecommunications infrastructure to improve regional mobile coverage.
Member for Ripon Louise Staley said on Wednesday that limited to no coverage in places like the Pyrenees Highway was impacting the ability of the area to attract residents and businesses.
“Better connectivity in our region will boost liveability, quality of life and business productivity, helping local people to stay in touch with friends and family and run their businesses,” Ms Staley said.
“I’ve spoken to many people in the Ararat region who say limited phone service and blackspots reduce their productivity and profitability, chewing up time as they try to find coverage or missing important messages altogether.
“A Liberal Nationals government will make it a priority to invest in better coverage in regional Victoria, including in areas prone to bush fire, along transport routes, key agribusiness areas and in communities with limited telecommunications access.”
Shadow Decentralisation Minister Peter Walsh said the Victorian investment program will leverage co-investments from federal and local governments, service providers, businesses and communities.
Mr Walsh described current services as “not up to scratch.”
“In this digital age where ... technology dominates, it is absolutely critical that families and businesses in rural and regional areas have reliable telephone and internet services,” he said.