Members hear Walcha’s mobile black-spot woes

WALCHA Shire Council has made its next move in the case for a mobile phone tower to solve the town’s black-spot woes.

Council delegates met with member for New England Barnaby Joyce and parliamentary secretary to the minister for communications Paul Fletcher to air their concerns and discussed the federal government’s $100 million mobile coverage program.

Walcha mayor Janelle Archdale told the visiting MPs the introduction of a service in the west of the shire, at Walcha Road, would alleviate the mobile coverage black-spot issue.

She said the council had been campaigning for many years to have the problem solved and, with the existing police communications tower at Walcha Road, the installation of the mobile phone facility would make the task much easier.

Mr Joyce said with much of the needed infrastructure like power, an optic fibre hub and the tower already established, the cost of installing the mobile service would be economically efficient and he was confident the proposal would receive a good hearing.

“The funding for this national program will be allocated via an open and transparent process with the detailed rules to be announced in consultation with stakeholders,” he said.

Mr Joyce said submissions for funding under the Mobile Coverage Program were due by tomorrow.

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