A new mobile phone tower launched on Monday in Glenlyon will improve coverage for locals.
The tower was built as part of a statewide drive to fix mobile blackspots.
Glenlyon residents are amoung the first in Hepburn Shire to be connected to the Telstra mobile network under round one of the federal government Mobile Black Spot Program. The Glenlyon tower is the second to be built in the Hepburn area, with the first tower at Leonards Hill already servicing the community.
The new base station will provide expanded 3G/4G mobile coverage for Glenlyon residents and local businesses.
It is one of 577 mobile base stations being rolled out across regional and rural Australia under the Mobile Black Spots Program.
Local MP Mary-Anne Thomas said the tower was one of six being built in Hepburn Shire to improve mobile coverage.
“Information and telecommunications have become an essential part of everyday life, and mobile connectivity supports the economy, community activities and most importantly, safety,” she said.
“The launch of this tower in Glenlyon is a good outcome for locals who have long been faced with poor mobile reception.
“We are proud to be investing, working with mobile carriers and securing funds from the Commonwealth to improve everyday connectivity for locals in Hepburn Shire.”
Sites have also been approved in Bullarto, Denver, Eganstown and Lyonville, where work is expected to begin in 2018.
Moorabool Shire’s Blackwood, notorious for poor mobile coverage, also received a local site upgrade.
The state government provided $29 million to support the first two rounds of bids under the mobile black spot program securing $114 million in infrastructure investment for the state.
The Glenlyon tower, jointly funded by Telstra, state and federal government, was initially due to be delivered in 2016. The installation faced a series of delays after a group of local residents complained about the tower’s visual amenity.
A number of residents had queried the location of the 35-metre tower, which is situated within close proximity to residential properties along Daylesford-Malmsbury Road, saying it would have a detrimental effect on the landscape of the town. Others had suggested the tower would provide better coverage in a different location.
Despite the segment of community opposition, in April 2016 the Hepburn Shire council voted unanimously in favour of the development, including the-then Holcombe Ward councillor Bill McClenaghan. Residents hope the tower will provide a genuine boost to reception.
In 2015, Councillor Kate Redwood was reported saying up to 25 per cent of people in Hepburn Shire have no mobile coverage.
Round two of the Mobile Black Spot Program will deliver another 266 new and upgraded base stations in regional Australia.