Coalition makes $60m election promise to fix mobile blackspots


news The Coalition Government has announced that it will invest an additional $60 million in the Mobile Black Spot Programme if it is returned to power in July’s federal election.

The new investment would bring the Coalition’s total investment in eliminating mobile blackspots to $220 million, the government said.

The Mobile Black Spot Programme already has plans to erect or upgrade 499 mobile base stations across Australia that are expected to address around half of the 6,000 blackspots nominated by the public.

Should they be re-elected, the Government has committed to invest an additional $60 million to cover black spot locations that have not previously received funding under the programme, along with locations that have been ignored by mobile network operators because they lack commercial viability.

According to a joint statement from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Regional Communications, Senator Fiona Nash, this new commitment would improve mobile coverage along major transport routes, in small communities and in regions prone to natural disasters.

It would further address “unique mobile coverage problems”, such as areas with high seasonal demand.

“Mobile connectivity is a critical part of daily social and business interaction and it is vital for personal safety. This is as true for people living in remote regions as it is in cities,” they said, adding:

“We expect Commonwealth funding will again leverage investment from mobile network operators, state governments, local governments, businesses and community organisations.”

Eliminating mobile back spot locations has the potential to increase commercial opportunities for businesses previously restricted by lack of mobile connectivity, said the statement.

Additionally, better mobile coverage could mean faster responses to accidents or bushfires, as well as bringing advantages for tourism operators, students and teachers, and farmers.

“The Coalition’s $220 million plan to address mobile black spots will enhance productivity and improve public safety, making life easier for those living in regional and remote areas thanks to access to more reliable mobile phone coverage,” said the joint statement.


  1. The subsidy of “Privatised” IP networks continues. Privatisation killed “cross subsidisation” and left taxpayers with a non refundable option to achieve IP coverage. Australia as a “IP” backwater continues and develops.

  2. “The Coalition Government has announced that it will invest an additional $60 million in the Mobile Black Spot Programme if it is returned to power in July’s federal election.”

    Just not in Tassie.

  3. But I thought the ‘market will provide’? I thought a competitive commercial landscape was the best way for infrastructure to be delivered, I’m pretty sure I’ve been told we have 30 years of history demonstrating that ‘fact’. WTH are these lefty Liberals doing throwing public money away on these ill advised splurges of tax payer money, when there is a perfectly good private market ready to meet these challenges far better than ill-conceived government initiatives ever could? I thought Telstra had the best mobile network in the world? Hang on, don’t they make billions in profit every year just from their mobile phone network? Why is the public giving Telstra free money to upgrade their own network, that they will then use to sell services they will make money on?? And they will use to claim their network reaches still greater numbers of Australians and is more reliable? Do Telstra have to pay the government back? Is this a loan? Is the government investing in Telstra, and will they see a return in their mobile tower investment?

    So hold on just a minute here – the Government of Australia have just announced that they are going to take $60 million of public funds and just give that to Telstra, no strings attached? And they have announced this flagrant redistribution of public wealth into private hands as an election policy, as though it’s something to be proud of? Hold the phones, can someone please tell me, WHY AREN’T THESE FUCK HEADS GOING TO JAIL?

    So apparently it’s OK to give tens of millions of dollars away to private companies to install private infrastructure they will make a profit from, but it isn’t OK to invest money into a GBE that isn’t just trying to make profits to benefit private owners, but will still make enough money from its operations to repay those loans so the infrastructure construction doesn’t actually cost the taxpayer anything at all? Ooookaaaayyy…

  4. ABC FAct Check updated this issue recently. The coalition are over half-way through the stated period of their previously promised $160 million to fix black spots and have only paid out 8.7 million. They have only two years to provide the other $151 million. After the election, conveniently.

    I’d bet the additional 60 million also conveniently extends their deadline to hide the fact that they are too incompetent to actually do the work needed to get these things done.

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