Thursday, 10 May, 2018

The Andrews Labor Government will continue to support the eradication of mobile black spots in regional Victoria, despite the Turnbull Liberal Government abandoning its Mobile Black Spot Programme (MBSP).

Despite an $80 billion tax cut for big business, the Federal Budget doesn’t deliver any extra funding for the MBSP, even though thousands of regional Victorians still experience inconsistent or non-existent mobile coverage.

After two successful rounds of the federal program, the Andrews Labor Government announced in January that it would not take part in round 3 due to a lack of consultation and transparency from the Turnbull Government.

Instead, the $11 million allocated to mobile black spots in the Victorian Budget 2017/18 was re-directed to our own program – the Victorian Mobile Black Spot Project (VMBSP).

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.

Last week the Victorian Budget 2018/19 allocated yet another $11 million to the VMBSP to fund a second round of towers with announcements on round one locations to be made in the coming months.

This funding builds on existing commitments to co-fund 141 new mobile towers with the Federal Government, Telstra and Optus. On top of this, the Labor Government announced a separate partnership with Optus in October last year to build an additional 25 towers throughout Victoria.

The Labor Government has already invested almost $33 million in connecting 20,000 premises that previously had no or poor mobile coverage. To find out more about projects that are improving connectivity across regional Victoria visit

Quotes attributable to Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy, Philip Dalidakis:

“First Malcolm Turnbull was using the Mobile Black Spot Programme as a political tool to gain votes, now he’s abandoned it altogether – I’m not sure which is worse.”

“If Malcolm Turnbull decides he actually cares about those living outside Point Piper, we’d welcome him to join the Andrews Labor Government’s mobile black spot eradication project.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford:

“It’s 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 living in regional Victoria without mobile coverage.”

“We know how frustrating the digital divide is for rural Victorians and that’s why we’ll keep investing in better mobile coverage for rural industries, motorists, train passengers and residents.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing:

“It’s clear that Malcolm Turnbull has no interest in helping the people of Gippsland get better mobile coverage, but that won’t deter the Andrews Labor Government from continuing to invest in regional Victoria.”