LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has highlighted the issue of mobile phone coverage in Parliament yesterday, presenting a petition from Kuranda residents who are sick of battling mobile black spots and slow internet.
This petition, with 579 signatures from residents and businesspeople of Kuranda, reinforces the dire state of telecommunications in the region.
“The lead petitioner is my good friend Bob Madden from Speewah, who has been on a long journey with me in our efforts to improve mobile phone reception,” Mr Entsch said.
“Kuranda still suffers from very patchy and unreliable mobile phone coverage, mainly due to its very challenging physical terrain.
“In addition, broadband internet delivery via Telstra ports is inadequate to meet needs, forcing people to use satellite services.
“Unfortunately, these services have either been over-subscribed or the system is unable to deliver usable speeds. The result is that some residents describe their connection as being ‘slower than dial-up’.
“This is frustrating and unacceptable, and seriously impacts on students, businesses and people trying to work from home.”
Mr Entsch said he supported the petitioners in asking the Minister for Communications to undertake an analysis of mobile phone reception and broadband delivery throughout the Kuranda area and to give urgent consideration to some practical solutions.
“I’ve also advocated for Kuranda/Speewah to be included in the list of priority areas to be put forward to Telco’s seeking funding under the Mobile Black Spot programme.”
The petition will now be referred to the Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull MP, and placed on the website of the Standing Committee on Petitions.It is also likely to be passed on to the Parliamentary Secretary for Communications, Paul Fletcher MP, who is driving the Coalition Government’s $100m Mobile Black Spot Programme and who met with Mr Madden during a visit to Cairns in July.