Families, students and businesses in the Lockyer Valley will benefit from new and improved mobile coverage, as a result of the Australian Governments Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP).
Federal Member for Wright, Scott Buchholz has announced the new tower that was funded under Round Four of the MBSP, located on the Gatton-Clifton Road at Mount Whitestone is now switched on.
“I’ve been fighting for better telecommunications in the Lockyer Valley since the day I was elected. It is great to see another investment into improving communications in the Lockyer now operational, to better connect residents, students and businesses.
“These base stations make a big difference to mobile connectivity and mobile broadband in regional areas – where we know service and connectivity can be pretty poor.
“The Morrison Government, working with telecommunication providers such as Telstra, Optus and Vodaphone are making investments to improve mobile coverage. This will help family and friends connect, give students the opportunity to access quality education and health services from home and participate in an ever-growing online marketplace,” Mr Buchholz said.
Mr Buchholz also confirmed the Lockyer would benefit from the latest round of the $380 million program.
“Under round 5 of the program, our government is funding a new station at Thornton,” Mr Buchholz said.
During the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a larger strain placed on the Australian telecommunications network and that has highlighted the need for greater investment in regional areas.
State Member for Lockyer, Jim McDonald has welcomed the announcement saying this will make an important difference for the community.
“This makes a big difference to the safety and liveability of our rural communities.
“On behalf of the Lockyer community, I thank our Federal Member Scott Buchholz for fighting for us to see these improvements delivered. It is a very competitive program and without Scott’s determination to keep us front of mind with the decision makers, we just simply would have missed out.”
Mr Buchholz said he would continue to stand up for the Lockyer Valley in Canberra and work with providers to improve services.
“I’ve always taken a strong interest in improving our telecommunications. Our residents rely on it for work, students to learn and businesses for commerce.
“As the Federal Member, I’ve worked to highlight the poor connectivity many rural residents experience, by bringing the regional managers of Telstra and the NBN to our region and showing them firsthand.
“I’ve written to the Minister and telco’s, calling on them to invest in the Lockyer Valley and I’ve highlighted the importance of our local emergency services, educational institutions and of course, the need for our farmers to access better telecommunications technology.
“More recently, we’ve worked with the Fordsdale and Mount Whitestone rural fire service members, particularly First Officer Wayne Scholl to improve their mobile connectivity.
“I was excited to see investment in a new base station construction on Gatton-Clifton Road and I am now even more excited to say that tower has been switched on.
“Late last year with the fires and this year with the coronavirus, we have experienced again the vital importance of the need for better connectivity, in disaster and in improving the lives of our most vulnerable.
“I am pleased to be delivering these investments for people living, working and travelling through the Lockyer, who will now have better phone service to make calls, browse the internet and stay connected,” Mr Buchholz said.
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.
To view the full list of Round 5 locations visit, or to provide feedback on the discussion paper on the design of future rounds, visit: communications.gov.au/mbsp
Scott O’Connell | 0413 424 384
Lockyer Electorate Office | (07) 5351 6100
Media note: File photo is from 2019, before COVID-19 and social distancing measures.