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BOOSTING MOBILE COVERAGE IN CASCADE

The agricultural community of Cascade in the Shire of Esperance is set to get improved mobile coverage thanks to Round 5A of the Australian Government’s highly successful Mobile Black Spot Program.

Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson is thrilled that a mobile black spot at Cascade is set to be addressed under this round of the Program.

“The new Cascade North tower will provide improved mobile coverage for the local community, allowing visitors and locals alike to stay connected, access education services, conduct business and remain in contact with family and friends,” Mr Wilson said.

“As Member for O’Connor, which is entirely made up of regional and remote locations, I strongly believe that small settlements such as Cascade deserve and require access to 21st Century telecommunications services.

“It is for that reason that in close consultation with the Cascade community, which strongly put its case, I vigorously advocated for improved connectivity there.”

Mr Wilson worked closely with Telstra to ensure that the Cascade North site was included in an application to Round 5 of the Mobile Black Spot Program.

“I will keep working with Telstra to ensure the mobile base station can get underway and the Cascade community can benefit from improved coverage,” he said.

Mr Wilson said that one of three priorities for Round 5A of the Mobile Black Spot Program was to improve connectivity in areas that are prone to natural disaster, including bushfire.

“The assessment process for this round of the Mobile Black Spot Program considered factors including benefits to bushfire prone areas,” Mr Wilson said.

“In 2015, Cascade and the wider Esperance area experienced devastating bushfires.

“The improved coverage will no doubt come as a great relief to the Cascade community, as it does to me.”

Mr Wilson said the Cascade North facility would be the latest of several new mobile base stations built in the Esperance area following the fires.

“The farming community in Cascade contributes significantly to the Western Australian and national economy, operating successful agricultural businesses and fostering a strong, connected community,” Mr Wilson said.

“I am so happy to be able to announce this new mobile base station to ensure a higher level of connectivity for a safer and even more productive community.”

Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, said the Government had committed $20.5 million to fund 67 new mobile base stations across Australia.

“This announcement brings the total number of base stations being funded under our Mobile Black Spot Program to over 1270 base stations, representing a total investment of over $875 million,” Minister McKenzie said.

“These base stations will improve coverage in disaster prone areas, along major transport corridors and trial new approaches to delivering coverage.

“The 67 base stations funded under Round 5A across regional and remote Australia will collectively deliver over 12,000 square kilometres of new and improved handheld coverage. The Government is committed continuing to work with industry and state and local governments to improve mobile coverage and connectivity across Australia.”

Minister McKenzie said a key priority of Round 5A is to test new approaches to supporting improved mobile coverage.

“The Liberals and Nationals Government encourage mobile network operators to deploy shared mobile infrastructure to reduce cost and provide new coverage from more than one carrier,” Minister McKenzie said.

“Access to 21st century communications is an essential service for all Australians no matter where they live.”

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.

Media contacts:

Minister McKenzie’s office: David Edghill, 0447 966 072

Rick Wilson MP: Chris Thomson 0467 710 180

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MEET RICK

I was inspired to run for Parliament following my involvement in a decade-long campaign to deregulate the wheat industry, which brought about the end of the Australian Wheat Board’s monopoly.

“I stand proudly for the Liberal philosophy of free markets, vigorous competition, small government and individual responsibility. These are the principles that guide me in my life and in this place. My track record in public life shows clearly that I am prepared to stand up for those principles.”

“To the electors of O'Connor, I reiterate the commitment that I have made to work tirelessly on your behalf, to always be frank and honest about the challenges we face, and to work cooperatively and collaboratively to improve the lives of the people who live in the greatest part of the greatest nation on earth”

– Rick Wilson MP Maiden Speech.