Boyne Valley push for mobile tower gathers steam

BOYNE Valley residents have welcomed support from Gladstone Regional Council in their bid for better mobile coverage.

Lack of mobile reception is a safety issue that became real to Boyne Valley residents when they were isolated in the 2013 floods, and continues to be a problem, according to Ubobo woman Kaye Pownall.

"If there's an accident out here or someone breaks down in a remote area, there's no way for them to contact anybody," she said.

The Commonwealth Government's $100 million Mobile Coverage Programme announced last year will improve mobile infrastructure in regional and remote areas.

But the bucket of cash is not going to go far, with competition from 2000 locations identified by the Department of Communications as having poor or no mobile phone coverage.

To help make sure Gladstone is in with a chance, the council outlined contributions from the community that would make investment in our region competitive.

Many of Gladstone's residents and visitors are adversely affected by poor mobile coverage, the council stated in a letter to the Department of Communications approved at its general meeting on Tuesday.

Boyne Valley has missed out on telecommunications funding in the past because of a perception that not enough people were affected, according to Ms Pownall.

But visitors and tourists who drive through Ubobo to avoid roadworks on the Bruce Hwy were also affected, she said.

"It's time something positive was done."

The federal Department of Communications is compiling a database with information supplied about regions by local government and other groups.

The database will be used by mobile service providers to decide which regions to invest in.

IN WITH A CHANCE

Gladstone Regional Council says:

  • Community groups are prepared to put in $100,000 towards a telecommunications tower in the Boyne Valley
  • Gladstone Area Water Board has said it would provide reduced rent for a telecom tower at the preferred Boyne Valley site
  • Council would be willing to hand over ownership of a former TV black spot tower in Rosedale to a telecom company without cost
  • Council would consider assisting with an access road to the envisaged tower