Dear Sir

The people living in the Wimmera and Mallee contribute $5.3 billion in economic activity to the Australian economy every year. In return, it's not unreasonable for us to want to drive on a decent road, be able to make a mobile phone call, have good education opportunities and to know that if we are unwell, we will have access to quality medical services.

It's pleasing that the National Party has remained committed to the Mobile Black Spot Programme (MBSP) and that they have secured a third funding round. This programme works with telecommunications companies to build mobile phone towers where, without this collaboration, construction may not be viable.

The Wimmera and Mallee received 18 new towers and four boosters in round one of the MBSP.  Currently we are awaiting announcements on the successful submissions for round two and now the Federal National Party, of which I'm a member, has secured a commitment of $60 million to fund round three.

Addressing mobile black spot areas will take a number of years but I’m confident that the benefits the programme will ultimately deliver, in terms of improved community safety and advanced connectivity for regional businesses and students, will be worth the investment of both time and money. Mobile phones are now an integral part of everyday life and regional Australia must have access to the technology.

Many of the towers committed to in round one are now switched on and working and I look forward to seeing more and more up and running.

Well done to the active communities who are working with my office to get the connectivity we deserve.

Andrew Broad

Federal Member for Mallee