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Further funding to reduce mobile phone blackspots and improve connectivity in East Gippsland will deliver long-term safety, social and economic benefits, according to local MP Darren Chester.

The Federal Member for Gippsland has welcomed over $2 million of funding in this year’s budget to improve connectivity in East Gippsland, in partnership with Telstra.

Mr Chester said the upgrades through the Regional Connectivity Program at Bairnsdale Aerodrome, Nicholson, Woodglen and Calulu areas would improve digital connectivity and support local businesses and residents.

“These upgrades will provide improved mobile voice and data connectivity not only to residents but also visitors to the area which is particularly important in times of emergencies,” Mr Chester said.

“Improved connectivity is essential for the region’s communication but also the visitor economy and future economic growth.

“With more people choosing to live in East Gippsland, improving mobile phone and internet reception is essential, especially for our local industries.

“These upgrades will see improvements to mobile phone reception in the Lindenow horticulture area with towers installed at Woodglen and Calulu as well as a booster for the Nicholson community which has suffered with a large mobile black spot.”

Mr Chester said the upgrades would also help with the region’s natural disaster and emergency resilience.

“The Bairnsdale Aerodrome is used as hub during emergencies and supports the work of emergency services such as the Australian Defence Force and aerial firefighting,” Mr Chester said.

“The Federal Government is working in partnership with Telstra to keep East Gippslanders connected and safe.”

Projects include:

Bairnsdale Aerodrome – $512,050 ($1 million total project cost)

Nicholson – $884,000 ($1.7 million total project cost)

Woodglen & Calulu – $1.149 million ($2.2 million total project cost)


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