Local MP Sussan Ley today announced two new mobile phone towers will be built in the Upper Murray, to service the Jingellic and Lankeys Creek region.

Delivered through Round 5 of the Morrison Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, Ms Ley said, “Nothing better highlighted the need for improved communications in this area than the fires over summer. This will be a real boost to the community as they continue to recover and rebuild.

“The two sites were ranked highly by the Department because of local emergency service needs and will be built in conjunction with Optus, which is showing a real desire to expand their local mobile footprint here.”

Optus Territory General Manager for Southern NSW Matt Connell said, “Optus’ priority is always to deliver the best service, value and choice to our customers, and we are thrilled to be helping eliminate blackspots in Jingellic and Lankeys Creek.”

“These are areas in need of improved mobile coverage and will enable valuable opportunities for the local community, so they can remain competitive and access the same resources as the rest of Australia.”

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said, “The latest announcement of successful locations brings the total number of base stations funded under the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program to 1,229.”

“The Federal Government is contributing $34 million to Round 5 of the Program, which will deliver total new investment of more than $73 million together with co-contributions from the funding recipients and state governments.”

The Government has allocated funding for all Round 5 proposals that offer value for money to taxpayers and meet the guidelines for the round. Of the $80 million made available, $34 million has been successfully allocated.

To view the full list of Round 5 locations visit, or to provide feedback on the discussion paper on the design of future rounds the Mobile Black Spots Program website.

Funding for new Round 5A

The Government intends that the next step in the Mobile Black Spot program will be to conduct a Round 5A, which will be used to test a range of different program designs. Funding for round 5A will be drawn from the unused portion of the funding allocated to Round 5.

The existing program design has served Australia very well. However, with each successive round, the base stations being funded are less economic for the mobile network operators. This fact, and the results from Round 5, suggests that fewer sites are likely to be successfully funded if future rounds are held under the existing program design.

The discussion paper to consult on the different program designs which could be tested under the future Round 5A has been released today.

The paper proposes three main objectives for this round:
• to improve mobile connectivity along major transport corridors;
• to improve mobile connectivity in disaster-prone regions; and
• to test new technologies that support shared mobile coverage in regional areas.
A decision on the timing of Round 5A will be taken once responses to the discussion paper have been received and considered.

Round 5 base stations are scheduled to roll out in the coming months with the first new base stations expected to be activated by the end of the year.