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Gippslanders are safer, and the economy has prospered because of more than $15 million being spent to reduce mobile phone black spots, according to the Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester.

Mr Chester said the Federal Government had committed $5.47 million under the mobile black spot program which had leveraged co-contributions from the telecommunications sector, state and local governments and community organisations.

“To date we have seen 23 mobile base stations funded to be deployed across Gippsland, of which 16 base stations are now complete and on air,” Mr Chester said.

“These base stations are saving lives, boosting jobs in the visitor economy and making businesses more productive as they cover from Benambra to Austins Hill, and to Carrajung Lower and Licola.”

Mr Chester said improved connectivity, whether it be mobile phone or internet coverage, was essential throughout our region for communication and economic growth.

“Phone coverage, especially in rural areas like parts of Gippsland, is vital for day-to-day communication, during emergencies and when travelling,” Mr Chester said.

“It is important we continue to identify black spots and improve connectivity throughout Gippsland for both locals and visitors.

“While it’s great to secure this funding there is still more work to be done and I will continue to work with my parliamentary colleagues to get better mobile coverage for our region.”

Mr Chester said Gippslanders can have their point of view heard as part of the 2021 Regional Telecommunications Review now underway.

Written submissions are being accepted until Thursday September 30, 2021 and can be lodged at www.rtirc.gov.au

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