Fitzroy Crossing to Benefit from Mobile Infrastructure Upgrade Funding

Published on Thursday, 21 April 2022 at 9:33:30 AM

The Shire of Derby/West Kimberley welcomes the recent infrastructure upgrade announcement relating to 141 mobile network sites across WA, including at Fitzroy Crossing, as it will improve mobile phone services for communities during emergencies.

The upgrades will be funded as part of the second round of the Commonwealth Mobile Network Hardening Program, worth $10.9 million.

Minister for Regional Communications and Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, made the announcement about the latest round funding on 5 March 2022, with the funding aiming to strengthen the resilience of mobile networks across Australia against natural disasters.

Of the sites selected around Australia, a quarter are in WA and SDWK Shire President Geoff Haerewa supported the investment as it will improve WA’s resilience during natural disasters such as bushfires, floods and cyclones.

“We are very pleased with the announcement that Telstra has been successful in applying for funding for a generator and power system upgrade in Fitzroy Crossing,” Cr Haerewa said.

“We understand the proposed upgrade will lessen the risk that mobile telecommunications will fail as a result of power outages in Fitzroy Crossing, specifically power outages to the Telstra mobile tower.

“This is also good news for the nation given that Fitzroy Crossing is on a major transport route.”

The Commonwealth Government announced the Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND) Package in January 2020.

The Mobile Network Hardening Program sits within the STAND Package and is designed to increase the resilience of Australia’s mobile telecommunication networks to help prevent, mitigate and manage outages during bushfires and other natural disasters.

Stage 2 of the Mobile Network Hardening Program was announced on 17 June 2021. This offered funding for resilience upgrades including longer lasting backup power, emergency power solutions for rapid service restoration, expanding protection zones around telecommunications sites, redundant backhaul, or other physical hardening measures. Only Mobile Network Operators (such as Telstra or Optus), Mobile Network Infrastructure Providers and Management Providers were eligible to apply for funding.

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