Mayor seeks a share of $220M Mobile Black Spot funding

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has visited the Federal Government to lobby for improved mobile phone service as part of the Australian Government’s $220M black spot funding program.

Cr Williams said Council had been lobbying the Federal Government for years for additional mobile coverage in the Redlands, particularly North Stradbroke Island and Russell Island.

“There are a number of locations in Redland City where mobile coverage is less than ideal and we have been asking the Federal Government to prioritise these areas for a number of years,” she said.

“Of particular concern are North Stradbroke Island and Russell Island, with the current lack of reliable mobile coverage creating community and safety concerns.

“I met with the office of Minister for Regional Communications, Bridgette McKenzie in Canberra on Wednesday and requested North Stradbroke Island and Russell Island be included in the next round of black spot funding.

“The Russell Island fire review clearly identified improved mobile services as critical to the island and I am committed to working with the Federal Government and telecommunication companies to deliver these upgrades.”

Cr Williams said her recent visit to the Minister’s office followed an approach to the State and Federal Government for a coordinated approach to improving mobile coverage following the Russell Island fires in December 2016 and North Stradbroke Island fires in December 2014.

“The isolation of our island communities is always a concern, but the potential risks become all too apparent during disasters such as the fires that have decimated both Straddie and Russell Island in recent years,” she said.

“Last year I wrote to state and federal departments, along with telecommunication companies, requesting a coordinated approach to overcome the lack of communication services on these islands, as well as other community issues.”