David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

New generators to back up regional and remote phone towers in Maranoa

March 22, 2022

Maranoa communities are to benefit from more reliable mobile connectivity following power outages thanks to Round 2 of the Coalition Government’s Mobile Network Hardening Program (MHNP).

Government funding will be used to purchase back-up generators for use at mobile sites in Longreach, Roma, Warwick, Stanthorpe, Goondiwindi and Bony Mountain.

Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said Optus, Telstra and TPG Telecom will deliver the mobile network resilience upgrades across the country, including the six generator projects in the Maranoa region.

“Telecommunications, including mobile phone towers, rely on power to operate. Having permanent and portable generators in place will play a key role in keeping people informed about local conditions and issues during a natural disaster,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Having access to up-to-date information can genuinely save lives, particularly during a fast-moving event like a bushfire, where conditions can change dramatically.”

The Round 2 announcement follows first round upgrades where the Government funded Telstra, Optus and TPG to extend the battery back up at 23 mobile phone towers in Maranoa, to provide a minimum of 12 hours of back-up power.

Mr Littleproud said that while upgrades will provide a significant boost locally, it’s also important for people to prepare for emergencies and natural disasters which can occur at any time.

“I would encourage people in Maranoa to ensure they are prepared, including having plans in the event of power and other service outages,” he said.

Successful projects announced nationally include the installation of permanent power generators, increased battery reserves, transmission resiliency upgrades to protect against network transmission outages and site hardening measures such as protective ember screening to protect sites from potential impacts of embers, radiation or flames.

Minister for Regional Communications and Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, said the Coalition Government was committed to keeping communities safe such as those in the Maranoa region during a natural disaster.

“This strong outcome from Stage 2 of the MNHP demonstrates our Government’s ongoing commitment to improving mobile network resilience and preparedness so communities can better deal with future emergencies and natural disasters,” Minister McKenzie said.

Under Stage 1 of the MNHP, Telstra, Optus and TPG Telecom were awarded funding to upgrade the auxiliary backup power supply at 467 sites, funded under Rounds 1 and 2 of the Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program (MBSP).

Maranoa sites included in Stage 1 were: Avoca Station, Blue Lagoon, Brucedale, Mirrabooka, Nardoo, Bundoran Road, Gordonbrook, Hampton, Hannaford Road, Landsborough Highway B, Maidenwell, Ravensbourne, The Summit, Warrego Highway, Wondai Road, Yangan, Boyneside, Cooyar, Jackson, Kumbia, Landsborough Highway, between Blackall and Tambo, Moonie and Wattle Camp.

Further information on the MNHP is available on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.