Coulton raises mobile phone reception in Parliament
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton has spoken in Parliament highlighting the areas of the Parkes electorate that have limited to no mobile phone service.
“Telecommunications in 2011 should be seen as one of the basic tenets of life. It should be seen as something that is available to all Australians,” Mr Coulton said. “In my electorate I have several communities that have no mobile phone access at all, which is a great frustration to these residents.”
Mr Coulton spoke of the community of Goolma that has no mobile phone service.
“Goolma is a small farming village located on a very busy road between Mudgee and Wellington, and with increased mining in the area that road is becoming busier. That entire area has no mobile telecommunications service.”
“I met recently with representatives from the local council, emergency services, Telstra and the local mine to try to get a plan together to get phone coverage in there. Telstra tells me that it will cost about half a million dollars to put in a tower, and the road and the power to the tower.”
“The Government have made it clear they have no interest in assisting the Goolma community financially to part fund a mobile phone tower. As it is now, the residents of Goolma are expected to fund their own telecommunications tower.”
Mobile phone reception is an issue Mr Coulton has been pushing the Government to address since the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy the Hon Senator Stephen Conroy visited the Parkes Electorate in 2009. However, Mr Coulton stated the Government is more concerned with funding the $43 billion NBN white elephant.
“We are talking of going into a broadband network, but areas like Goolma will miss out on broadband, because in regional Australia broadband will be delivered by wireless technology. So if they do not have a phone tower in the first place, they will not get that broadband technology.”
“The reality is that telecommunications is not a luxury. It is considered a basic necessity of life. I will do whatever it takes to make sure that the people in my electorate, particularly the people in villages such as Goolma, get what the rest of Australia takes for granted,” Mr Coulton concluded.