Mobile coverage boost for the Fleurieu Peninsula

SERVICE: With phones - David Basham, Tim Whetstone, Mark Bolton and Julie and Kevin Curran behind.
SERVICE: With phones - David Basham, Tim Whetstone, Mark Bolton and Julie and Kevin Curran behind.

Digital connection around Inman Valley and Back Valley received a boost with an $800,000 partnership to tackle a mobile phone black spot affecting the rural communities.

The new tower is being delivered due to funding from the State Government and Telstra.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone visited Back Valley with Member for Finniss David Basham and Regional General Manager for Telstra in South Australia Mark Bolton and said digital connection was vital for regional communities.

"Improved mobile coverage also leads to economic development opportunities for new and existing businesses and improved service delivery in areas such as health and education," Mr Whetstone said.

Member for Finniss David Basham said the new mobile phone tower was a great result for the local community.

"We have been looking to improve mobile phone coverage for years around Inman Valley and Back Valley, as it's essential for townships to stay connected, particularly now," Mr Basham said.

"Our regional communities can only grow if we have a reliable service and keep improving our telecommunications.

"A reliable mobile phone service makes a significant difference for families, individuals and businesses living and working in remote areas. This will improve safety for those in the Inman and Back Valley area, as well as open up new economic opportunities."

Mr Bolton said Telstra was pleased to partner with the State Government to deliver mobile phone coverage for residents in the Inman Valley and Back Valley area.

"Without this partnership project, this new mobile coverage may not have been possible. We rely on mobile connectivity more than ever before for making calls and accessing the internet.

'In an emergency having mobile coverage and being able to make a call can make a huge difference for people living in regional areas," Mr Bolton said.

"This is positive for the region, as in topography like this, it is tough to get good coverage."

The tower is to be constructed over the next 12 months off Hancock Road between Inman and Back Valley.

Back Valley resident for 75 years Richard Littlely said he had never had any mobile service and was appreciative the government and Telstra were trying to make a difference.

"Good to see some progress and any improvement is a step in the right direction," Mr Littlely said.

Back Valley Tennis Club Life Member Julie Curran said the club "welcomed the better coverage".

Inman Valley resident Ian Prime hoped the tower would give the service the community deserved in the area.

"This is a dangerous stretch of road with trees and lots of kangaroos and when there is an accident there is no service to call for help. It is promising Telstra and the government acknowledge there is a problem and trying to do something about it," Mr Prime said.

The South Australian Mobile Phone Black Spot Fund has addressed 39 mobile phone black spot locations in regional South Australia.

This outcome represents a total State Government investment of more than $7 million in mobile infrastructure in regional and remote South Australia.

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