The Nationals WA spokesperson for regional communications Martin Aldridge MLC has slammed the McGowan Government for its lack of funding for mobile blackspots in regional Western Australia.
Mr Aldridge said this month’s State Budget confirmed the McGowan Government would not address a single blackspot after next year.
“This is a real kick in the teeth to regional communities and businesses struggling with mobile phone reception issues,” he said.
“By way of comparison, The Nationals WA invested $105 million into 344 new or upgraded mobile phone towers and increased the State’s mobile coverage by more than 30 per cent.
“What this again shows is Labor have no idea about the challenges faced in regional WA.”
Mr Aldridge urged the McGowan Government to stop putting Perth first and represent the interests of all Western Australians.
“When Labor bastardise Royalties for Regions to fund day-to-day government expenditure next year such as water, sewerage and education, there will be nothing left for economic development projects, including better regional telecommunications,” he said.
“By refusing to fund more mobile phone towers, the Labor Government are playing games with regional communities, businesses and overall safety.”
“Regional WA always loses in Labor’s budget games.”
Labor’s negligence comes as a double whammy after the latest round of the Commonwealth’s Mobile Black Spot Program provided funding for 125 new mobile towers across Australia, but only six in WA and none outside Perth.
“The recent Federal Government announcement means no new money will be put towards mobile phone towers where West Australians actually need coverage,” Mr Aldridge said.
“By failing to attract our fair share of Federal investment, Mark McGowan and Labor have failed to advocate for the interests of regional WA.”
Mr Aldridge said it was crystal clear that the priorities of this Labor State Government was city focused.
“This month’s budget has confirmed what we already knew; that fencing dog parks in Perth and funding for mobile coffee vans are Labor priorities.
“When it comes to ensuring that regional West Australians have access to a quality education, the Labor State Government closes the Moora Residential College and camp schools.
“When it comes to ensuring your mobile phone works when you need it the most, the regional caucus of the Labor Party is once again missing in action.”
PICTURED: The Nationals WA spokesperson for regional communications
Hon Martin Aldridge MLC slams McGowan Government over its lack of mobile blackspot funding.