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Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has welcomed the first step towards improving mobile phone coverage in Licola.

Mr Chester said the installation of a new small cell would provide year-round coverage in Licola township.

“The installation of a small cell should be seen as a first step in getting better mobile coverage in Licola.  It will provide better phone service for locals, visitors and travellers while they are in the township and enable them to make calls, use the internet and stay connected with family and friends, in what has been an unreliable mobile service area,” Mr Chester said

“I will work with residents and property owners to get the funding needed for the next stage to install the infrastructure needed at Cobb’s Spur and upgrading the current telephone tower, which dates back to the 1960s.

“Other communities have successfully lobbied for a Telstra tower after a small cell was installed and I will support the Licola community in its efforts to get the best possible mobile phone coverage for their area.

“Connectivity in all its forms, including mobile phone and internet coverage, is critical to the economic growth and prosperity of regional Victoria and the ability to stay connected will underpin job opportunities and the social fabric of our region for decades to come.

“In times of emergency or natural disaster, reliable telecommunications are essential and can save lives.”

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