Under questioning in the Legislative Council from Hon Colin de Grussa MLC, the Government have committed to the construction of mobile phone towers throughout the Esperance region.
Mr de Grussa, The Nationals WA spokesperson for Emergency Services questioned the Minister for Regional Development in Parliament, after serious concerns were raised that towers scheduled to be built within the Esperance region would not progress due to funding being uncertain.
“Communication during the 2015 bush fires was made extremely difficult through a lack of mobile coverage and towers failing through inadequate reserve power systems.
“This made the work of emergency services personnel even more difficult and limited the ability for people to receive emergency messages or calls”, Mr de Grussa said.
“The Minister confirmed that these new mobile phone towers will be fitted with an adequate back-up power supply, rectifying a weakness identified in the aftermath of the fires.”
Towers will be installed in the following locations:
- Alexander Bay
- Cape le Grand
- Daniell Siding
- Grass Patch East
- Mount Burdett
- Mount Ney
- Ravensthorpe West
- South Cascade
Peter Rundle MLA, Member for Roe, welcomed the Minister’s commitment.
“The fires highlighted the desperate need for better mobile phone reception and communications within the region,” Mr Rundle said.
“It sounds dramatic, but being unable to make a call during an emergency due to patchy reception can literally be the difference between life and death.”
“The Minister didn’t confirm a timeframe for the installation of these towers, and I will continue to put pressure on the Government until these towers are installed.”
The Nationals WA were instrumental in delivering better mobile communications throughout the regions when in government, with more than 100 towers funded by Royalties for Regions.