Colin Boyce MP

The Albanese Labor Government has been caught out falsely claiming that the Mobile Black Spot Program has not been cut to zero.

The Communications Minister has been attempting to argue that the Program has not been defunded.

But the facts are that the Budget papers show that zero funding has been allocated for the Mobile Black Spot Program in 2027/28, and they specifically refer to the “conclusion” of the program.*

Asked about the issue recently, Minister Rowland told the host of the Sounds of the Mountains program that:

“The Budget papers need to be read as a whole, not in isolation, and the Budget papers clearly show that the program is being funded through the Better Connectivity plan, so the assertion that’s being made is absolutely wrong.”

Unfortunately for Minister Rowland, the Budget papers reveal that this is not the case. In 2027/28, funding is cut to zero for not only the Mobile Black Spot Program but also the Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia.

The Minister has said that the Mobile Black Spot Program will be funded by the Better Connectivity program. But that is not the case, because there is no money at all in the Budget for the Better Connectivity program in 2027/28. It is not possible to fund a program using zero dollars.

Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce said it was time the Government was honest about the axing of funding to the Mobile Black Spot Program.

“The Albanese Government is not being up front with people especially in rural and regional Australia who rely on the program,” Mr Boyce said.

“We can see again that the Albanese Government is not serious about improving mobile connectivity in the regions.

“It was the Coalition in Government which set up the Mobile Black Spot Program and once again we see Labor crab-walking away from supporting it.

“Minister Rowland must reverse her decision to defund the Mobile Black Spot Program and ensure the Flynn electorate and other regional communities have the same connectivity rights as the rest of Australia.”

* (Sources: PBS p.70 and BP1 p.220.)

/Public Release.