Mr Barilaro made the announcement in Dalgety today during an event to celebrate the activation of NSW’s 100th mobile tower under the program.
“That’s over 3000 extra emergency calls to either the ambos, police or firies that simply would not have been possible without the Mobile Black Spot Program,” Mr Barilaro said.
“These extra emergency calls demonstrate the program really is making dramatic improvements for people in regional NSW.
“Eliminating mobile black spots is a key focus of the NSW Government, not just to make life easier for families and businesses across the state but as a matter of prioritising safety and security concerns of regional, rural and remote communities,” he said.
Mr Barilaro said the NSW Government has so far committed $39 million to the program, which is picking up speed with another 89 mobile towers scheduled to be switched on by 2019.
“Our goal to eliminate mobile black spots won’t end here, because we’ve made digital connectivity a focus of the 20 Year Economic Vision for regional NSW, our framework for investment with the financial backing of the $4.2 billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Communities can expect to see continued quality infrastructure and service delivery in this area, to address mobile black spots,” he said.
Di Izzard, a local advocate for mobile connectivity, welcomed news of the 100th tower and the high tally of extra emergency calls able to be made in regional NSW because of the Mobile Black Spot Program.
“The impact of these towers should not be underestimated; on the road and in the paddock we can now reliably connect with essential services,” Ms Izzard said.
“Since we’ve had our tower switched on just north-west of here at Gundillion, there have been two car accidents along the Cooma Road and in both cases, the motorists were able to phone for assistance,” she said.
Telstra Area General Manager Chris Taylor said the new mobile base station was part of $20 million worth of investment in the NSW South Coast and Southern Tablelands region this year.
“Whether it’s a parent being able to call the kids, small businesses taking a credit card payment for the first time or a local producer using sensors to run their farm more effectively, mobile connectivity is becoming increasingly important for growth and stability in regional Australia,” Mr Taylor said.
For a map of tower locations, visit the additional information and resources section at www.communications.gov.au/mobile_coverage.