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Two new mobile base stations announced to improve telecommunications

Shadow Minister for Communications Senator Sarah Henderson and Casey MP Aaron Violi in Silvan on Wednesday 20 July. Picture: PARKER MCKENZIE

By Parker McKenzie

Two mobile base stations announced during the 2022 federal election will be built in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, aiming to alleviate telecommunication issues throughout the region.

On Thursday 21 July, Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland announced two stations in Silvan and Menzies Creek will be built through funding from the Federal and State Governments.

“Today, I was pleased to announce that 20 locations in Victoria would be funded under the Peri-Urban Mobile Program, including in Silvan and Menzies Creek. This is an important project for the growing area to ensure locals and business can stay connected and safe,” Ms Rowland said.

“The Australian Government is committed to improving emergency communications and mobile connectivity right across Australia, and welcome this united commitment with the Victorian Government.”

By providing both new and improved 4G and 5G coverage, the towers will improve mobile connectivity in Silvan and Menzies Creek, some areas of Monbulk, Macclesfield, southeast Mount Evelyn and south Seville.

$16.2 million in funding from the State and Federal Governments was awarded to mobile network operators to build 20 base stations across the fringes of Greater Melbourne.

Funding from the Federal Peri-Urban Mobile Program for the two base stations was announced in April 2022 by Casey MP Aaron Violi, who was the then-Liberal candidate for the May 21 federal election. The funding was originally contingent on the Liberal Party being reelected.

Mr Violi said during the election campaign he strongly advocated for additional black spot towers through the Peri-Urban Mobile Program.

“I was delighted to be able to announce new towers in Silvan and Menzies Creek,” he said.

“It is comforting that the Australian Government has agreed to build these towers.”

On Wednesday 20 July, the day before the announcement, Mr Violi and Shadow Minister for Communication Sarah Henderson visited local stakeholders to discuss the telecommunication issues in the area.

Mr Violi said as a local resident he knows firsthand the communication challenges the community faces.

“This is why I was delighted Shadow Minister for Communication Senator the Hon. Sarah Henderson has come to Casey to hear firsthand of the communications challenges across our community.” he said.

During the visit, Mr Violi and Ms Henderson met with the Mums of the Hills community group, Mayor Jim Child and Yarra Ranges Council, Kalorama-Mount Dandenong and Kallista CFAs and telecommunications advocate Peter Brennan to discuss connectivity and communications issues highlighted by the June 2021 storm weather event.