SARAH DINGLE: Fire crews are still mopping up a blaze in Victoria's west and are hopeful heavy rain will help put it out this weekend. But a year after the huge Grampians bushfire and with more blazes in the area last week, residents are still upset mobile phone coverage hasn't been fixed in high risk areas. During last week's emergency at Moyston in the Grampians, more than 3,000 sheep were lost and two homes were destroyed. The Federal Government still hasn't decided which areas are first in line for network upgrades this year. Stephanie Corsetti reports from the Grampians.
Families living in Bradfield will benefit from a new initiative aimed at increasing water safety for young children.
The Member for Bradfield, Mr Paul Fletcher, said the initiative was aimed at children under five and teaching them about water safety.
National Heritage places are of outstanding heritage value to the nation and reveal the richness and diversity of Australia’s extraordinarily natural environment. Bradfield is no exception and is home to many of these iconic places.
The Australian Government is now calling for nominations for new places to be included on the National Heritage List.
Member for Bradfield, Paul Fletcher, says that undergraduate students from Bradfield will be amongst more than 3000 young Australians to receive mobility grants to live, study and work in the Indo-Pacific region in 2015.
Announced by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Education Minister Christopher Pyne, the grants are part of the Australian Government’s flagship New Colombo Plan initiative.
At over 60 community meetings in 38 regional and remote electorates around Australia in the past 15 months, I have heard a very clear message: people living in these areas want better mobile coverage.
From Mareeba in far north Queensland to Elliston on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia; from Manjimup in south-west Western Australia to Bega in southern NSW; from Gunns Plains in Tasmania to the Wartook Valley in western Victoria, people have explained to me why this is so important.
The Abbott Government’s $100 million Mobile Black Spot Programme today reached a key milestone: the start of the formal competitive selection process to determine the location of new mobile phone base stations in regional and remote Australia.
“This is about delivering on the Coalition’s election commitment to boost mobile coverage in regional and remote Australia,” said Paul Fletcher MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications.
With the programme guidelines now issued, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and other bidding parties can start to prepare their proposals, which must be lodged by March 2015.
Mobile phone companies can now start bidding for government money to build new phone towers in blackspot areas.
The Federal Government has pledged $100 million to improve mobile coverage and earlier this year published a list of 6,000 locations with inadequate reception.
Host: Well let’s start by trying to find out if your mobile black spot is likely to be fixed next year. The Federal Government is spending 100 million dollars, and the aim is to improve mobile reception around Australia; If you were listening a couple of months back you would’ve heard that there is a shortlist of some 6000 locations that have been nominated as in need of better or some coverage, and now essentially, we’re waiting on the mobile phone carriers to say where they want to build the new towers with the help of a government subsidy. Paul Fletcher is Parliamentary Secretary to the Communications Minister; thanks for coming in again, appreciate it.
We are living through an age of unprecedented technological change, and this has profound implications for communications policy in Australia.
To start with, I will review some indicators that we are undergoing unprecedented change; next I will point out how this is challenging many of the assumptions which have underpinned communications policy in Australia; and thirdly I will suggest some principles of policy making to deal with such change.