SEA FM with Lee, Jess and Brett Whiteley > Mitch Fifield, Liberal Senator for Victoria

CONTACT SENATOR FIFIELD

Click here to email me

Electorate Office
42 Florence Street
MENTONE VIC 3194

Phone: 03 9584 2455
Phone Toll Free
(Vic only): 1300 797 110

Parliament House Office
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600
Phone: 02 6277 7480




02-July-2018

Interview with Lee and Jess with Brett Whiteley
SEA FM 
Devonport

8.15 am
2 July 2018


E & OE


JESS:

This morning we’re joined by Brett Whiteley and Federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield is here with us as well. We’ve got an announcement for the communications sector here on the coast.

Good morning

 

FIFIELD:

Good morning. Good to be with you Lee and Jess.

 

LEE:

Thank you for joining us. Now you’re obviously hot on the trail with the election, the by-election coming up. You’ve got a big announcement for us this morning. Who’s this going to be benefit and what’s the announcement? We love these. Is this a first? Is this an exclusive Brett?

 

WHITELEY:

It is!

 

LEE:

Lovely.

 

FIFIELD:

Absolutely. And it’s great to be here with Brett Whiteley. We’ve got good news for the 5000 people who live on the West Coast who might sometimes have a bit of frustration with their mobile coverage. They might have slow speeds or a dropout. The reason for that is there’s some capacity issues because the West Coast they have access to mobile via a radio link. What we’re going to do thanks to Brett Whiteley is commit $700,000 to make sure that we can tap into the Tasnetworks fibre link. So it’s an initiative with the West Coast council. Brett brought it to me and to the Prime Minister. He said we’ve got a solution. We can make sure that people have the speeds on mobile that they want. We can reduce dropouts. And the PM and myself said good, done, sold. 

LEE:

So Mitch this affects people in Rosebery, Queenstown, Savage River the remote parts of the West yeah?

 

FIFIELD:

That’s right. And I think there’s an instance that Brett’s particularly focused on which is Tulla and Granville where there are particular issues. This is what Brett Whiteley does. He identifies a problem. He comes up with a practical solution. He argues for it. He delivers.

 

LEE:

Well, good on you. We love that. And in this day and age of communications we need it everywhere and anywhere.

 

WHITELEY:

Well look I think that’s true Lee and the fact is that the West Coast has got so much potential. And I think it’s fair to say that the great days of the West Coast are far from over. We’ve seen already some announcements more recently that mining closer to Burnie and we’ve still got the hope of the CMT mine reopening and tourism is obviously growing down there as well. So we need to make sure that the communication infrastructure is in place. And we’ve got some difficulties in Tulla and Granville Harbour as the Minister just said, but we can’t get those fixed. The service providers can’t fix those issues until we fix this backbone capacity issue which the Minister’s just referred to. So this is a part of a plan. It’s a total of a $1.4 million solution. The West Coast Council came to me and said we need to stump up half of it. They can’t afford it. They asked us for the money as Mitch said. He and the Prime Minister have given the tick. So it’s great news for the people of Tulla, Zeehan, Rosebery, Queenstown, Granville Harbour and so on.

 

LEE:

What kind of time frame are we working with?

 

WHITELEY:

Look that’s going to be a matter now between the West Coast Council and the service provider. But I understand the fix can be made pretty quickly. I wouldn’t want to be the one to technically put the time on that. But I understand it can be undertaken within the next six months.

 

LEE: 
Well it’s exciting. Now we did have a question a short time ago from Yoris and it’s more of a local theme.

YORIS: 
How come in 2018 we can’t stay on the phone from Devonport to Burnie without the phone dropping out three times.

LEE: 
A lot of people might be encountering that problem here in our neck of the woods, have we got a solution that we’re working on for that at the moment?

FIFIELD: 
Well, one of the things that we’ve recognised as a government is that there are mobile black spots. And we’ve put about $280 million nationwide into the Mobile Black Spot Programme. In the electorate of Braddon there are 11 new or upgraded towers and I think there’s about 8 of those currently online to address these sorts of issues. But Brett knows the local geography better than me.

WHITELEY: 
And I know that road well and I can only agree with Yoris. And I think most of that problem is attached to the Sulphur Creek area and if anyone’s observant they’ll see as they driving now through the Bass Highway around the back of Sulphur Creek, they’ll see a nice new shiny tower that’s been put up in that area. And that will be online I understand within the next two or three weeks. So that will go an awful long way to fixing up that problem. And I just think it’s important to note that as the Minister said 11 black spot fixes have been put in place by this government. The previous government spent zero dollars on mobile black spots. We’ve been getting on about the job now for five years whether it’s Yolla, whether it’s Sister’s Beach, whether it’s Loyetea, whether it’s Melrose, or whether it’s now going to be Sulphur Creek: the mobile black spot issue is being fixed and a continuing programme and the run between Burnie and Devonport I think in the next few weeks will be even better.

JESS:
Well it’s good to know and thanks so much for addressing that question for our listeners. Only a matter of days left now until the Braddon by-election?

WHITELEY: 
Not far away and it’s great to have Mitch here. I love catching up with Mitch. And here’s more than happy to come and help me get the message out that we want to deliver for the people of the north west. Things are going so great, you guys know Lee, you know Jess. You know that confidence is high, businesses are feeling good about the future. We need to continue that, it’s a strong plan we’ve got in place. Unemployment figures are down, people are in jobs. So it’s just great to have Mitch here today, we’re going to have a road trip today, aren’t we Mitch? And I made sure he’s wooled-up, Lee, because I think it’s going to be quite cool down there. He’s a bit of a softy. In Canberra we used to live together didn’t we Mitch?

FIFIELD:
That’s right. Not in the biblical sense, I hastened to add. 

WHITELEY:
So Canberra weather is obviously very similar I suspect to the coldness factor. Although Mitch is pretty game in the Mitch field when it came to his boxers running around the house.

FIFIELD:
They were happy days indeed, Brett.

WHITELEY:
They were happy days in Canberra, but it’s great just to have Mitch here and we’re looking forward to being able to make this announcement.

LEE:
Maybe too much communication there. Appreciate your time this morning.

FIFIELD:
Good to be with you.



Authorised by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, Liberal Party of Australia, Parliament House, Canberra.