Labor candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson and Shadow Minister for Regional Services Stephen Jones have pledged to fix notorious black spots in Capricornia.
Labor candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson and Shadow Minister for Regional Services Stephen Jones have pledged to fix notorious black spots in Capricornia. Zizi Averill

ALP pledge $245 million to improve regional communication

REGIONAL areas like Capricornia are set to get a helping hand to remedy their ongoing communication problems.

Labor's Shadow Minister For Regional Communications and Regional Services Stephen Jones joined his Capricornia candidate Russell Robertson on the election campaign trail yesterday to reveal details of their latest $245 million funding commitment to address mobile black spots, improve digital literacy and fund local projects to improve connectivity in regional communities.

Mr Jones said Labor's Plan for Better Regional Communications would have a number of objectives to support local productivity, jobs and connectivity in regional Australia.

"Labor will allocate $160 million to deliver improved mobile coverage through two further rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program," Mr Jones said.

He said Labor would allocate $60 million to local projects to address regional connectivity issues by working with the States, and local government and other stakeholders, to develop Connected Community Plans.

They intended to develop more accurate mobile coverage maps to support policy making, work to maximise co-investment opportunities in mobile and other network infrastructure, and work with industry and consult experts on options to improve the consistency of battery back-up arrangements for new base stations built in bushfire prone areas.

Labor also intended to improve remote indigenous communications and planned reveal further regional initiatives.

Minister for Regional Services Bridget McKenzie accused Labor of blatantly "cut and pasting" her party's policies and urged regional and rural Australia to be sceptical of Labor ever delivering on this policy given they had shown no interest in it previously and when last in government.