HOST: Across the Easter and ANZAC day long weekend I had a handful of very frustrated friends who came from the city for a visit, and found that even in the big towns across our region they struggled to get phone service. We are all aware of where the mobile black spots are in our town, and which service provider we need to sign up with to try and get as much coverage as we can, but it is still really frustrating. Well, poor mobile phone coverage will be on the agenda across the central west for the next couple of days. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Communications, Paul Fletcher, is touring towns in the Hume and Calare electorates. I caught up with him a short time ago before he jumped on a plane to come to Orange, and asked him about the government’s mobile coverage program.
The Government has released a roadmap of key deregulation priorities in the communications sector and the expected timing for consideration of these issues throughout 2014.
Federal Member for Calare, John Cobb, will welcome to Calare today Paul Fletcher MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, who is responsible for rolling out the Government’s $100 million Mobile Coverage Programme.
Well, when monster bushfires struck the Grampians in January, [Undecipherable] and mother of five Rachel Dunn extracted a promise from local MP Andrew Broad, to bring the minister responsible for mobile black spots to her kitchen table, so he could see first-hand the damage that the fire did and the stress of being unable to ring out put on people who were their friends and their family, and their home on that day. Today, Rachel Dunn has got some fairly high-powered visitors; Rachel Dunn, good afternoon?
The Federal Government has met stakeholders in the state’s south to discuss areas in need of improved mobile phone coverage. At the last federal election, one-hundred million dollars was committed to regional mobile phone coverage throughout Australia. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher held a discussion in Manjimup yesterday, as part of his tour of regional WA. He says the discussions will help the Government make decisions on which areas receive funding.
HOST: Communication in the hinterland has been a problem; emergency situations have had many residents concerned in the past especially when trying to call triple zero. A forum was held today for residents to voice their concerns about mobile coverage black spots. Federal Member for Fisher Mal Brough organised the forum alongside Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher. Mr Fletcher, good afternoon.
PAUL FLETCHER: Good afternoon.
EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: The week began with the Labor Party trounced at the polls in Western Australia. Days later the hits continued when the former foreign minister published his diaries revealing intimate details about his personal life and exposing the former government's confidential cabinet processes to public scrutiny.
Meanwhile, the Government's two free-trade agreements are receiving wide acclaim with reports from China also looking positive.
Tonight's political forum matched the Government's parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Communications, Paul Fletcher, with Labor's Ed Husic who is the shadow parliamentary secretary to the Opposition's Treasury spokesman.
Paul Fletcher MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, has today welcomed the Victorian Government’s $40 million commitment to addressing mobile coverage blackspots and to deliver Wi-Fi on selected train services in Victoria.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP will visit the Wimmera this Friday to discuss mobile phone black spot issues with local residents.