Telecommunications services in the Kennedy Electorate are set for a major upgrade with the construction of 12 new Telstra mobile base stations, funded under the Federal Government’s North Queensland Telecommunications and Energy Improvement Grants.
The construction of mobile base stations, satellite small cells and battery backup solutions will vastly improve Telstra’s existing 4G mobile coverage in the region.
The locations of the new towers include Reaphook Range, Karumba North, and Haydon in the Carpentaria Shire, Eumara Springs in Charters Towers region, Sally Creek and Quamby in the Cloncurry Shire, Copperfield in Etheridge Shire, Boonderoo and Mount Sturgeon in Flinders Shire, Wallaman Falls in Hinchinbrook Shire and Flers, Kynuna, Balootha in McKinlay Shire.
Kennedy MP, Bob Katter, said he made no apologies for getting the lion’s share again of the funding for these towers.
“Not only do we represent a seventh of Australia’s land mass, but we also have the extremely high parts of the Great Dividing Range,” he said.
“There are still big population centres like Mission Beach, and areas of high traffic rates, like the Kennedy Highway between Speewah and Mareeba and at Fishery Falls on the Bruce Highway south of Cairns, that are not covered or have poor coverage.”
This latest round of funding comes after major upgrades around Mount Isa earlier in the year. $4m of Federal Government funding was granted to Julia Creek, Richmond, Dajarra, Stamford and Morning Island for telecommunications.
Mr Katter said improving telecommunications was the number one priority raised when he met with constituents around North Queensland.
“We’ve held several meetings with the Minister for Communications in the Federal Parliament over the last two years and written numerous letters requesting the funding,” he said.
“The tyranny of distance has always been the biggest drawback of North Queensland. My Father’s two brothers died because of the tyranny of distance, but mobile telephones have been an enormous weapon in bringing a mantle of safety.”
Nick Dametto, State Member for Hinchinbrook, is celebrating a win for locals and visitors in the Hinchinbrook Shire.
“Improving mobile service at Wallaman Falls is essential to keep our locals and visitors connected for safety reasons when in remote areas,” he said.
“During disasters specifically flooding the road to Wallaman Falls is often one of the first roads to close. Improved mobile connectivity will ensure people at Wallaman Falls have adequate time to monitor communication platforms and leave before road closures are in place.
“This is also a great win for tourism in the region, connectivity gives visitors the opportunity to share their experience instantaneously through social media when visiting the falls. This generates maximum exposure for our region and promotes it as a tourism destination with world class natural attractions.
“I know there are many areas in the Hinchinbrook that are still in desperate need of mobile service. I will continue to advocate and work with the Member for Kennedy to ensure similar improvements are put in place for areas such as Stone River and Abergowrie.”