Local, Independant and Effective

Kevington petitions Government for improved mobile phone coverage

Posted March 18, 2016

 

CATHY McGOWAN (Indi) (13:30): I present two petitions that have been approved by the House.

The petitions read as follows—

To the Honourable The Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives

This petition of the concerned residents, tourists and campers of Kevington, Victoria, 3723, draws to the attention of The House the urgent need for mobile phone coverage for the Kevington township and surrounding area.

Kevington valley is a remote area of Victoria which has been assessed by fire authorities as having an extreme bush fire risk. In emergency situations the only reliable communication is UHF Radio, which is funded by the local community. However in heavy smoke conditions reception is adversely affected. The landline phone is unreliable at the best of times and the overhead telephone line is likely to be down during emergencies, as occurred in the 2006 fires.

Kevington is on a major tourist route from Gippsland to North East Victoria (one road in and out). The road is partially sealed and subject to emergencies caused by falling trees, rock slides, floods and fire. Whilst there is a small permanent resident population at Kevington, there are thousands of visitors during peak holiday times and weekends who do not have any form of communication. Thus mobile phone communication for residents and visitors is critical.

The Mansfield Shire has partnered with the Kevington community in seeking funding under the Black Spot Program and we are actively supported by CFA, Police, SES and DELWP.

We respectfully petition The House to include our application for funding under The Black Spot Program to establish a new base station for Kevington.

from 1 citizen

To the Honourable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives

This Petition of the concerned residents, tourists and visitors of Kevington, 3723, Victoria draws to the attention of The House the urgent need for a Mobile Telecommunication Tower.

  • Kevington is a declared Black Spot Area.
  • Fire Authorities have assessed the area as being of extreme fire risk.
  • The telephone landline is unreliable.
  • There are thousands of residents, visitor/tourists at risk during emergencies such as bushfires.

We therefore ask The House to implement the roll out of a Mobile Communication Tower for Kevington.

from 192 citizens

Petitions received.

Ms McGOWAN:  These petitions have been signed by the residents of, and tourists and visitors to, Kevington. They contain 193 signatures. These petitions draw the House's attention to the urgent need for mobile phone coverage for the Kevington township and surrounding areas and call for the site to be included in the next round of funding under the Mobile Black Spot Program.

Kevington valley is a remote area of Victoria, which has been assessed by fire authorities as having an extreme bushfire risk. In emergency circumstances the only reliable communication is UHF radio, which is funded by local residents. However, in heavy-smoke conditions reception is adversely affected. Mobile phones are vital to safety and communication during emergencies. Kevington was listed as a black spot during round 1 of the program. It was unsuccessful, so it remains on the list for round 2.

Community organisations and Mansfield Shire Council have been strong community advocates on this issue to government. Kevington was Indi's number 1 priority for round 2. In bringing this to the attention of the House, I would like to thank Michael Eichhorn, the principal petitioner, for a job well done. Congratulations, Michael. I call on the government to include funding for Kevington in round 2 of the Mobile Black Spot Program.