Due to the Weatherill Labor Government’s refusal to contribute any funding towards mobile blackspots, South Australia will receive just 11 out of 499 new mobile phone base stations to be constructed across the nation.
“Once again the Weatherill Government has turned its back on the interests of regional South Australians,” said Member for Stuart, Dan van Holst Pellekaan.
“Once again Minister for Regional Development Geoff Brock has failed to stand up to his Labor cabinet colleagues and get a fair deal for regional South Australia.
“Additional mobile phone coverage would improve community safety, enhance social engagement and deliver greater commercial opportunities for regional South Australians.
“This Federal initiative presented an excellent opportunity for the State Government to make a modest investment to deliver a substantial improvement in mobile phone coverage in regional South Australia.
“South Australia’s failure to contribute to the mobile phone base stations fund will result in South Australia receiving just 2 per cent of the new phone towers to be constructed in Australia despite making up 12.7 per cent of Australia’s land mass.
“By way of contrast other State Government are contributing to the Federal Government scheme and as a consequence are getting the lion’s share of the 499 mobile phone base stations.
“Our State Labor Government is very well aware of the needs of communities like Blinman, Marree, Innamincka and many others which receive tens of thousands of tourists every year and yet do not have mobile phone service.
“The Weatherill Government says that tourism is one of its highest priorities for economic growth and yet will not contribute to providing the basic infrastructure that tourist have come to expect.
“It is disgraceful that people living, working and visiting rural and remote parts of our state are continually ignored by the Weatherill Government.
“The Weatherill Government pretends to care about regional communities but refuses to invest in basic infrastructure needs.”