The Australian Government has provided funding to local community projects in Barker under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program, with projects in Barker receiving more than $4.6 million in support.
Member for Barker Tony Pasin said mobile phone towers at Colebatch, Narrung & Geranium are among the 524 projects funded under the program.
Mr Pasin said the lack of mobile reception across many areas in Barker is the number one issue raised by constituents with him.
“Mobile phone coverage is no longer considered a luxury. It’s a necessary tool for doing business, growing our economy and Agricultural industries,” Mr Pasin said.
“Not only does improved mobile service help our regional businesses but it’s a critical safety tool too,” Mr Pasin said.
“The needs of communities that continue to struggle to achieve mobile phone connectivity remains foremost in my considerations and my actions in Canberra”
Mr Pasin has been fighting for improved mobile coverage for communities in Barker since being elected in 2013 and says today’s announcement of three new Government funded towers is a huge win.
“There are currently almost 400 mobile blackspots in Barker. I will continue to chip away one tower at a time until we can address mobile reception for every community. The announcement today of these three towers will go some way to reducing the number of people impacted by poor mobile reception in Barker,” Mr Pasin said.
Coorong District Council received $1,471,550 mobile towers at Colebatch & Narrung to improve society economy & tourism.
“This project will deliver two Telstra mobile phone towers at Narrung & Colebatch SA in areas where mobile phone coverage is unavailable.” Mr Pasin said.
Southern Mallee District Council received $394,648 for the installation of a 4GX Mobile Base Station at Geranium.
“This project will provide significantly greater coverage to the town of Geranium and surrounding areas. The funding will also enable the Southern Mallee District Council to purchase Telstra Go Repeaters which are an invaluable asset in a disaster situation providing further connectivity, which is crucial as part of a bush fire plan.”
“These upgrades will provide vital mobile connectivity to improve day-to-day life for local communities and businesses and improve the health and safety of locals and visitors during emergencies.” Mr Pasin said.
“These significant investments means that people living and working in Colebatch, Narrung and Geranium will now have better mobile coverage.” Mr Pasin said.
Mr Pasin said the overall program funding was boosted by $110 million to $390 million to further support communities around Australia to recover from the 2019-20 bushfires.
“As part of the now $2.2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund, the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program is backing projects which the affected communities have said will best support their ongoing recovery,” Mr Pasin said.
“The grants will fund a broad range of recovery and resilience projects, from social and community wellbeing right through to projects that support local jobs, small businesses and infrastructure.”
“It was important that we funded projects based on need and merit and which offered a lasting and tangible impact, tailored to local needs and conditions. The quality of the projects funded shows that our ‘locally led’ approach works.”
“We understand that recovery from bushfires takes time, and we will continue to support impacted communities through their recovery from the devastating Black Summer bushfires of 2019-2020.” Mr Pasin said.
Details of the funded projects are available on the National Recovery and Resilience Agency website at: https://recovery.gov.au/programs/black-summer-grants