Report into mobile black spots on Ballarat train line under wraps

AN investigation into improving mobile phone black spots on the Ballarat train line is complete, however, the state government is remaining tight-lipped on the results. 

The lack of mobile coverage on the Ballarat train line has long been a controversial issue for commuters, with many saying it is not possible to work while taking the trip. 

Possible solutions to the issue include building extra phone towers along the train line, as well as installing a wi-fi system to provide internet coverage.

Two tenders to show where the black spots occur and potential solutions were opened in April and May last year, with companies UXC and Enersus being selected to investigate the issue.

However, the state government has declined to release the results of those tests, saying that improved connectivity is not straightforward.

Despite questions from The Courier to the office of Technology Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips during the past week, government spokesperson Andrew Drever said he would not be making any comment about the testing phase. 

Committee for Ballarat chief executive John Kilgour said he was disappointed results of the testing phase had not been released. 

“It is unusual for it not to be made public,” Mr Kilgour said. 

Ballarat West MP Sharon Knight said it was important the community was made aware of what was happening during the testing phase. 

“We really need to know what the outcome was,” she said. 

“Don’t just spend public money and then not tell us what the next step is.”

However, Ms Knight stressed the main issue for commuters was still punctuality. 

“Overwhelmingly the information we get from commuters is that they need their trains to run on time,” she said.

V/Line trains only managed to meet punctuality targets for two months last year.

matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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