Improved mobile connectivity for South-East

Pauline Richards, Jaala Pulford, Jordan Crugnale, representatives from Amazing Double Glazing, representatives from Optus including general manager Jayson Grool announce the commitment.

By Jamie Salter

Melbourne’s outer south-east suburbs are getting improved mobile connectivity, with Optus and TPG Telecom to deliver four new mobile towers and 11 tower upgrades from 4G to 5G through the Victorian Government’s $550 million Connecting Victoria program.

Digital Economy Minister Jaala Pulford announced the partnerships with Optus and TPG Telecom on Thursday 30 June.

“Outer Melbourne suburbs like Cranbourne and tourism hotspots like the Mornington Peninsula need mobile services that can keep up with increasing demand and keep Victorians connected,” Mr Pulford said.

The work will be carried out between 2023 and 2024 to deliver improved services across 418 square kilometres.

Residents and businesses in Beaconsfield, Berwick, Botanic Ridge, Cardinia, Clyde, Clyde North, Cranbourne, Cranbourne East, Cranbourne North, Cranbourne West, Dandenong South, Endeavour Hills, Eumemmerring, Hallam, Hampton Park, Officer, Officer South, Skye and Mornington Peninsula can expect improved coverage.

Gembrook MP Brad Battin led a petition for improved mobile service in Clyde North in early 2022 as residents reported issues with contacting emergency services.

Mr Battin said he was concerned the commitment was an empty promise from the Labor Government.

“In 2018 they promised a police station to be up an running – failed, they promised better roads – failed. Now they promise improved phone service, something they have said for years isn’t their problem,” Mr Battin said.

“I will hold whoever is in government after November 26 to delivering this.

“I encourage community’s of Clyde North to remember this November how many promises were made and not delivered under eight years of Labor.”

Clyde North’s Lifestyle Berwick Waters resident Pam Barnett said has been struggling with poor phone service for years.

“I don’t trust them to say it’s going to get better, I won’t believe it until my phone receptions improves,” she said.

“It’s due to a lack of towers and until we get more, it won’t improve.”

Earlier this year, the Victorian Government released its Connecting Victoria engagement report, voicing the needs of more than 11,000 Victorians for better mobile and broadband connections.

Key feedback from the report highlighted that improved mobile connectivity was essential in areas where services need to keep up with rapid development and growth.

Cranbourne MP Pauline Richards said the tower upgrades will benefit the digital economy.

“Better connectivity creates enormous opportunities for jobs and supports growth in our important industries, and we’re ensuring Melbourne’s outer suburbs and the Peninsula have a thriving digital economy,” she said.

Bass MP Jordan Crugnale agreed better mobile connectivity was a necessity.

“Mobile connectivity is a modern day expectation and this is welcomed news for our residents and businesses in the South East including Clyde and Clyde North,” Ms Crugnale said.

Optus Regulatory and Public Affairs vice-president Andrew Sheridan said he looked forward to getting the improvements underway.

“Optus wishes to thank the Victorian Government for their significant investment which will go a long way in strengthening the mobile infrastructure in Melbourne’s south-east,” Mr Sheridan said.

TPG Telecom head of Infrastructure Strategy and Integrated Planning Paul Tremlett also welcomed the upgrades.

“We are pleased to work with the Victorian Government on these important network sharing arrangements as it means more people and businesses can access the social and economic benefits that are made possible by mobile connectivity,” Mr Tremlett said.