By Laura English
Produced for online by Natalie O’Brien
The Palaszczuk government is backing farmers and calling on the Turnbull government to fund the Mobile Black Spot Program in the budget.
The program aims to bring more mobile coverage to rural and remote parts of Queensland, with the installation of new base stations.
State Government MP Leeanne Enoch says it is important Queensland gets better mobile coverage.
“We want to make sure people who are travelling or living in those areas are able to use mobile phones to be able to make contact with emergency services,” she says.
She says the lack of coverage in Queensland raises safety concerns.
“Queenslanders are vulnerable, so in times of disaster for instance, like there are emergencies, where there is no mobile coverage, there is vulnerability,” she says.
The National Farmers Federation wants to see the federal government put $60 million towards the Mobile Black Spot Program.
National Farmers Federation manager of rural affairs Mark Harvey-Sutton says the program is important to them.
“We are very conscious of the fact that mobile coverage is important to our members… in many situations it can be life or death,” he says.
He says farming can be a very dangerous profession, but practicality must also be considered.
“Anything you can do to improve that safety is just vital,” he says.
“… It has to be remembered that people are running businesses from these rural and remote locations.”
Parts of Queensland receiving the funding for new sites, is also an issue.
Ms Leeanne Enoch says the Palaszczuk government is working closely with local governments, councils, and telephone companies for a fair allocation model.
“We want a fair and equitable allocation model in round three,” she says.