Telecommunications will be strengthened in bushfire and disaster prone areas in Gippsland to keep communities connected during emergencies.
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the Federal Government was investing $37.1 million to improve telecommunications following the 2019-20 bushfire season.
“During the devastating bushfires the resilience of our communication system was compromised,” Mr Chester said.
“Communication during emergencies such as bushfires is critical and we’ve invested heavily in the mobile phone blackspot program but the job isn’t finished.
“We must do all that can to ensure that our region has reliable and resilient telecommunications for all Gippslanders.”
Mr Chester said better equipped mobile base stations and stronger connectivity is also essential to support communities in the aftermath of emergencies.
“Improving our resilience against emergencies will ensure that our region is well equipped to face bushfires, floods and other disasters into the future.”
The funding which is part of the additional $650 million bushfire funding includes:
- $18 million to improve the resilience of regional and remote mobile phone base stations
- $10 million for portable communications facilities to allow quicker service restoration
- $7 million for enhanced telecommunications for rural fire authorities and evacuation centres
- $2.1 million for a pilot program over the next two bushfire seasons to improve the information provided about access to telecommunications in emergencies.