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The NSW Government will help build 144 mobile towers to fix 795 mobile phone black spots in regional communities to make it easier for residents to stay connected, Member for Albury, Greg Aplin announced today.

Mr Aplin said towers will be built to eliminate some of the electorate’s worst black spots at Burrumbuttock in Greater Hume Shire, Mount Ikes (Mannus) in Tumbarumba Shire, Savernake in the Corowa Shire and near the Riverina Highway/Federation Way intersection south of Coreen in Corowa Shire.

“Following the announcement of the program in March I first wrote to then met with the Minister to outline black spot areas identified by councils and residents.  I am delighted that we have now secured four priority towers to deliver coverage along the Riverina Highway and in other areas.

“Today’s announcement delivers a key election commitment because mobile coverage is critical for people living in rural areas and for access to emergency services,” Mr Aplin said.

Minister for Regional Development John Barilaro said the combined Commonwealth and NSW Government investment is the greatest increase in mobile network coverage to mMobile Phone Coverageetropolitan, regional and remote communities delivered by a single public funding programme in the history of Australian mobile communications.

“The NSW Government’s investment of $24 million, along with $28 million of Federal Government funding and a contribution from the networks, will result in a total investment of $92 million,” Mr Barilaro said.

“We will deliver 144 new or upgraded mobile base stations that will cover more than 14,000 square kilometres to benefit businesses and residents across regional NSW.”

Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Minister for Communications, Paul Fletcher, said the outcome of the Mobile Black Spot Programme had significantly exceeded expectations.

“It is pleasing that the NSW Government has worked closely with the Commonwealth Government to maximise the amount of funding available – and in turn maximise the impact of this Programme to provide new and improved mobile coverage in areas which need it,” Mr Fletcher said.

The investment will improve coverage along major transport routes, in small communities and locations prone to experiencing natural disasters, with funding to be rolled out over a 3-year period.  A map of locations is available here www.communications.gov.au/mobile_coverage