The Andrews Labor Government today announced a major project to construct 109 mobile towers across regional Victoria under a $86 million black spot elimination project.

In the Macedon electorate, eight sites have been identified for new or upgraded mobile towers to be constructed over the next three years.

The sites are located in Blackwood, Bullarto, Denver, Eganstown, Glenlyon, Leonards Hill, Lyonville and Pipers Creek.

Up to 12,000 households and businesses across regional Victoria will benefit from huge improvements to mobile coverage under the project which is expected to boost the state’s regional economy by an estimated $120 million per year.

Project allocation for the black spots follows a successful joint bid by the Labor Government and Telstra to the Federal Government’s $100 million Mobile Black Spot Programme.

Victoria has committed $21 million to the project, working collaboratively with Telstra and the Commonwealth Government to maximise the amount of funding available, generating a project worth $86 million to the state.

Public safety and emergency management were also high priorities in developing the Labor Government’s submission to the black spots programme, focussing on improved access to emergency information in the event of bushfire.

Emergency Management Victoria, headed by Commissioner Craig Lapsley, played an important role in developing the joint submission, providing evidence-based and community-driven feedback.

The new mobile towers will be built across the regional municipalities of Alpine, Baw Baw, Benalla, Colac Otway, East Gippsland, Gannawarra, Glenelg, Golden Plains, Greater Geelong, Hepburn, Hindmarsh, Horsham, Indigo, Latrobe, Loddon, Macedon Ranges, Mansfield, Mildura, Mitchell, Moorobool, Mount Alexander, Murrundindi, Nillumbik, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, South Gippsland, Southern Grampians, Swan Hill, Towong, Wellington, West Wimmera, Yarra Ranges and Yarriambiack.

Quotes attributable to Mary-Anne Thomas, Member for Macedon

“This is a game-changer for regional communities across Macedon.”

“Communities I’ve spoken to throughout the electorate have emphasised time and again the importance of adequate mobile coverage – especially in areas with high fire danger. Having mobile coverage is vital in emergency situations.

“Many small businesses I’ve spoken to will also welcome this news. Adequate mobile coverage is essential when you’re own the road or operating in a remote area. The expanded coverage these new towers will provide will make the job of operating a business easier”.