TELSTRA should honour its promise to regional Victorians to put up mobile phone towers in bushfire-prone areas, Moorabool mayor Pat Griffin has said.Cr Griffin’s comments follow the announcement of a new SMS bushfire warning system for Victoria from next summer. The project will see Telstra customers living in and travelling through bushfire-prone areas in Victoria receive a warning text message on days of high fire risk. The system is expected to be operational across Australia by the end of 2012.However, Cr Griffin said the system left out mobile phone black spots like Blackwood. “Telstra have been promising for a long time to put up a mobile phone tower in Blackwood,” Cr Griffin said. “It is a very serious situation because there is no (mobile phone) coverage there. So some people are very difficult to communicate with in case of fire.”Cr Griffin said he urged the telecommunications company to not let financial considerations stand in the way. “I call on Telstra to get on with it,” he said. The mayor said the state and federal government-funded SMS bushfire warning system was a fabulous initiative. “It is really good but it is not going to help those in bushfire-prone areas like Blackwood unless Telstra puts up a mobile phone tower there,” he said. Member for Ballarat East Geoff Howard said the new system was a great win for the community in bushfire-prone areas. But, he said, it left out those in rural communities without a mobile phone coverage. “I would love to see many people in rural communities with better mobile phone coverage,” Mr Howard said. “It is the case for many people across my electorate.”However, he said, the new SMS opportunity improved warnings for some.“If you are in areas where your mobile phone is registered in that address, you can be contacted ... and you can be advised on potential threats,” Mr Howard said. Mr Howard said people should continue to listen to the radio and be aware of the dangers. Telstra could not be reached for comment.