Shadow Minister for Regional Communications, Hon Martin Aldridge MLC, has welcomed funding of over $10 million dollars from the Federal Government, announced under Round 2 of the Mobile Network Hardening Program (MNHP).

Mr Aldridge said the funding would provide portable power generators for deployment during emergencies, as well as upgrades to batteries and power systems at over 40 sites across WA, including Gingin, Salmon Gums, Denmark, Lancelin, Bridgetown and Halls Creek.

“WA has received funding for 20 mobile power generators to be stationed at local Telstra depots that can be quickly deployed within a 150km radius when needed. The allocation of these will be spaced across the State to provide wider coverage,” Mr Aldridge said.

“Each generator setup can provide a minimum of 24 hours power back up to help minimise the risks associated with power failure in regional WA.”

Mr Aldridge also welcomed the announcement of upgrades to batteries and power systems at over 40 critical sites across WA.

“Our State relies on telecommunications for almost every aspect of emergency management or response,” Mr Aldridge said.

“Whether it is someone calling 000, a communications centre mobilising resources or sending vital alerts to the community to shelter or evacuate, these all rely on networks remaining operational throughout an emergency,” said Mr Aldridge.

“Recent fire events across the State again highlighted the vulnerability of our mobile communications infrastructure, and this funding will make inroads to addressing these challenges and ensuring regional families and communities remain connected in times of need.”

Funding under Round 2 of the Mobile Network Hardening Program (MNHP) will mean Optus, Telstra and TPG Telecom will deliver 544 mobile network resilience upgrades across the country, with over 60 of these projects located in regional Western Australia.

The MNHP is part of the Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND) package, which is helping to prevent, mitigate and manage outages during bushfires and other natural disasters.

Further information on the MNHP and STAND, including a list of sites to receive upgrades, is available on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website at https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/media-technology-communications/phone/communications-emergencies/strengthen-resilience