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Fatal crash in blackspot

Saturday, 14th July, 2018

A witness to a fatal accident on the Menindee Road last week could not immediately get mobile reception to alert emergency services.

One man was killed and another airlifted to an Adelaide hospital after a Toyota Prado left the roadway and rolled about 4.30pm, Friday, July 6, just 20 kilometres south east of Broken Hill.

Police have revealed that mobile phone reception at the site of the accident was very poor.

“The witness who rang the accident into 000 had to drive some way back to Broken Hill to get reception,” a police spokesman said.

Police said that they had to get up on top of a hill to get any reception and then it was limited.

Until mobile blackspots in the region are fixed, incidents like a lack of reception during emergencies will continue.

The federal government has pumped $220 million into telecommunications infrastructure to fix blackspots, but this has completely bypassed our region.

Under the first three rounds of the program, the government’s commitment has leveraged a total investment of more than $680 million, which is delivering a total of 867 new base stations across Australia. 

Last month, the government announced it will invest $25 million of program funding towards a fourth round, to deliver improved mobile coverage to more regional and remote communities across Australia. 

Broken Hill is not a priority location for the next roll out of the black spot program.

“While Broken Hill and the surrounding area has not received any improved coverage under the program to date, round four will provide another opportunity for locations with limited or no mobile coverage to be considered,” a government department spokesman said.

“The rollout sequence for each round of the mobile black spot program is determined by the mobile network operators based on various factors, including obtaining local government planning approval, landowner agreement where necessary, and access to existing infrastructure, power and backhaul.”

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