Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin has expressed his disappointment that only two locations in South Australia are to be addressed under Round 5A of the Federal Government’s Mobile Blackspot Program and none in Barker.

“It’s really disappointing that telecommunications providers have not shown more interest in partnering with Government to deliver improved connectivity to regional South Australia,” Mr Pasin said.

“The Government is committed to working with industry and state and local governments to improve mobile coverage and connectivity across Australia, but it’s vital that industry participate in the program.  Round 5A was necessitated because insufficient interest was shown in Round 5 by Australia’s telecommunication companies.”

There are 1,106 identified black spots in South Australia and 399 of these are in Barker. The fact that no locations in Barker received funding through round 5A of the program is concerning,” Mr Pasin said.

Very few applications were received from Telecommunication Companies for mobile base stations across South Australia or indeed in Barker.

“It is a crying shame that the Government has funding on the table to partner with Telcos to address these Black Spots but the Telcos effectively have very limited interest in addressing this important need.” Mr Pasin said.

“In all honesty it’s hard to put into words how angry I am about the decision by Australia’s telecommunication companies to turn their backs on rural and remote Australians.  I think the executives at these Telcos should take a good hard look at themselves and rethink their attitudes to regional Australia.  In the meanwhile I will be talking to Minister Fletcher about what actions the Federal Government can take to ensure Australians living in regional Australia with mobile phone plans receive the services they pay for when entering into a mobile phone contract.”

The full list of base stations funded under Round 5A of the MBSP is available on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.