Queensland locations should be a high priority in the next round of the Federal Government's Mobile Black Spot program to help better connect communities and drive regional development, AgForce said today.
AgForce Telecommunications Committee Chair Georgie Somerset made the comments after the Federal Government today called for mobile phone black spot nominations from local, territory and state governments, as well as Federal Members of Parliament, for the fourth round of the program.
"Queensland is the most decentralized state in Australia, and the need for more affordable and reliable phone and internet services is one of the biggest issues for people living, working and travelling in the bush," she said.
"Phone and internet services are an economic and social lifeline for regional, rural and remote Queenslanders. Affordable and reliable services are vitally important for community safety, to support business development, enhance children's education and maintain social connections.
"With nominations now being called for the next round of funding to eliminate mobile phone black spots, we would hope that many areas of Queensland can benefit."
Mrs Somerset said AgForce would be lobbying Federal Minister for Regional Services, Senator Bridget McKenzie, for funding to go to parts of Queensland that missed out in the earlier rounds of the program.
"The previous rounds have seen mobile coverage improvements to remote locations such as Injinoo at the top of the Cape and around Quilpie in the South West with the funding making a big difference to the people who live and work in these communities," she said.
"We'll be encouraging our members to identify black spots in their areas and to engage in the process as improved coverage would result in improved farm productivity and profitability.
"With Queensland now the most valuable agricultural state in Australia and technology transforming the way we farm, investing in improved mobile phone coverage will help our industry go from strength to strength as we work to meet the growing global demand for our high-quality food and fibre."