Boost for mobile blackspot

Boost for mobile blackspot

Improving Cedar Creek’s patchy mobile phone coverage has moved a step closer, with Moreton Bay Regional Council seeking State Government permission to lease land for a phone tower to Telstra.

The Federal Communications Commission identified the area as a ‘Mobile Black Spot’, granting Telstra funding to build a mobile tower under the Mobile Black Spot Program in April 2019.

But the telecommunications company has been unable to secure a suitable spot for the 30m tower on private land and has asked Council to lease a site at Andy Williams Park.

However an independent valuation for the site assessed the market rental price as being $15,000-$20,000 a year – far more than the $5000 Telstra proposed.

A report from officers at the March 30 Council meeting says that to lease the land at the lower price requires State Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Steven Miles to grant an exemption to regulations.

“Given Council’s commitment to encouraging the installation of telecommunications infrastructure to achieve satisfactory telecommunications coverage for all locations within the community, it is now proposed that Council makes an application to the Minister for an exemption from Council compliance with s.227(1) of the Regulation,” the report says.

Vital connectivity

Councillor Mick Gillam (Div 8) supported the recommendation to seek an exemption, saying it was important to connect locals with mobile services.

“Telstra’s approached residents to place the tower on private land and they have been knocked back,” Cr Gillam said.

“This is really their last chance to get a tower in that area.

“I think it is behoven to Council to try to get them a cheaper lease on the land.”

Read more local news here.

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