MEDIA RELEASE - COALITION’S BROKEN PROMISE ON MOBILE BLACK SPOTS DELIVERY NOW CONFIRMED - 9 JULY 2019

Reports today indicate an incoming government brief has warned of further delays to the delivery of mobile black spot towers promised for completion by 30 June.

This briefing flies in the face of what Bridget McKenzie stated in the lead-up the election where she declared:
 
“Base stations under the first three rounds are expected to be operational by 30 June 2019”
 
This broken promise comes as no surprise given Senate Estimates revealed 167 towers promised under Rounds 1, 2 and 3 were not operational as of 3 April 2019.
 

MOBILE PHONE BLACKSPOT PROGRAM ACTIVATIONS

ROUND

PROMISED

NOT DELIVERED

Round 1

499

31

Round 2

266

65

Round 3

102

71

Round 4

180

180


These latest delays add to a highly critical ANAO assessment which found 89 towers funded by taxpayers under Round 1 did not even deliver new coverage.
 
One could only assume the reason for such incompetence was driven by a political motivation to have towers up sooner – even at the expense of delivering no additional coverage in some instances.
 
Yet here we are with further delays, compounded by missed opportunities to expand coverage because the program was manipulated by the Coalition for political gain.
 
Regional communities deserve to be given a realistic assessment of what towers will be delivered and when, and the Government needs to come clean on the latest delays.