Petition for black spot funding

Countryman
Kojonup woman Katharine Marsh lies fresh flowers at the scene where her fiance Mick died in a a quad bike accident. Ms Marsh’s father Greg found Mick at the accident scene but sadly he died there because poor mobile phone reception caused delays in medical attention.
Camera IconKojonup woman Katharine Marsh lies fresh flowers at the scene where her fiance Mick died in a a quad bike accident. Ms Marsh’s father Greg found Mick at the accident scene but sadly he died there because poor mobile phone reception caused delays in medical attention. Credit: Mogens Johansen

A Kojonup veterinarian will be at the Wagin Woolorama, inside the west entry gate, this March 11 and 12, collecting signatures for a national petition to increase funding for mobile phone black spots after her partner was tragically killed.

Katharine Marsh is calling on those involved in agriculture to join her campaign which also calls for the Federal Government to commit to a deadline to rectify mobile phone black spot locations.

“I am campaigning for this issue after my partner, Mick, tragically passed away following a motorbike accident which occurred in a mobile phone black spot, delaying emergency assistance for 20 to 30 minutes,” Miss Marsh said.

“My experience is not an isolated incident; others have been affected in a similar way. Recent bushfires in late 2015, early 2016 have also highlighted the problems of mobile phone black spots preventing access to emergency services.”

There are more than 6000 nominated mobile phone black spots Australia-wide, including near capital cities, along major highways and transport routes, and in whole towns and villages.

Miss Marsh said where there is a black spot, there is no mobile network coverage and emergency services like 000 and alternative numbers such as 112 will not work.

“If you are faced with a life-threatening emergency and are in a mobile phone black spot area you will not be able to obtain emergency assistance. This could be the difference between life and death,” she said.

“The technology exists to eradicate mobile phone black spots — it is simply a matter of further funding.”

The Federal Government has committed $160 million, with the Round 2 locations expected to be announced at the end of this year.

“After this current round, there are no further plans for funding for mobile phone black spots, yet current funding is likely to leave at least 1000 black spots still unaddressed,” Miss Marsh said.

“If mobile phone black spots in your area miss out this time there is no guarantee as to when they will be resolved.

“It’s irrelevant that Telco’s claim they provide 99 per cent of the population with mobile coverage when you consider major highways have black spots. Every year, a million cars could travel down Albany Highway, and there are black spots from Armadale to Albany.”

To download the petition visit: http://triple0foraustralia.wix.com/triple0foraustralia or https://www.facebook.com/triple0foraustralia/.

Signatures need to be returned to Ms Marsh by April 30. They will then be sent to the Standing Committee on Petitions for presentation to the Australian Parliament.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails