The village of Murringo turned out to “ring in” a new era this Monday, July 24.
Member for Cootamundra, Katrina Hodgkinson and her federal colleague Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, joined the people of Murringo and Telstra in launching the 200th mobile phone tower as part of the Mobile Black Spot Program.
Administrator of Hilltops Council, Wendy Tuckerman, said the new coverage the tower provides would be a big draw-card for those looking to relocate to the area.
“Reliable coverage can be the difference between making or breaking the bottom line, so to be able to eliminate black spots in the area is significant from an investment point of view,” she said.
“It’s also vitally important for residents to have adequate mobile coverage in emergency situations, such as bushfires during the summer months, where fast and reliable access to help is crucial.”
Member for Cootamundra, Katrina Hodgkinson, said she expected the village to grow with its new connection.
“I expect small businesses to come into Murringo, new startups, it’s the dawn of a whole new era for this community,” she said.
“This has been such a problem for Murringo, it is a strong farming community and there are several small businesses operating from this area. Up until today there has been no mobile phone reception.
“Having so many black spots in country communities is a continual thorn in our sides, we are doing our best to ensure rural communities are connected and they are able to have access to the mobile phone service which can prove to be life or death in some situations.”
Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, said the most important dignitaries on the day were the students from Murringo Public School, because they used mobile phones the most and were the future of the community.
“This is so important because it helps small business, farmers, families, students and it help connects Murringo to the rest of the world,” he said.
“The locals here wanted to be enabled to be connected with the rest of the world, wanted a small business connection, wanted to, in the students’ case, do their homework via the internet or use their mobile phone to connect with friends.
“Just because it is a small village doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have the same connectivity, the same services and the same importance that a capital city has, the sorts of lifestyle advantages that people in capital cities enjoy and take for granted,” he said.