Pledge to fix mobile black spot

A FIFTY-KILOMETRE mobile reception black spot between Launceston and Scottsdale would be fixed with a $350,000 pledge from a Liberal government.

Fixing the reception void would lower devastation risk from fires within the state and plantation forest region and provide better amenity for its residents, according to Bass Liberal MHA Peter Gutwein.

Mr Gutwein and Bass Liberal MHA Michael Ferguson announced the pledge at the Nunamara general store yesterday.

The announcement follows a $100-million federal government commitment to improving mobile phone access in regional areas made in the lead-up to September elections last year.

"Myrtle Park, the picnic area here, has up to 400 people in it over Christmas and New Year, there's a lot of traffic and a lot of people," Mr Gutwein said.

"This is a heavily forested area ... if there were to be a fire it's impossible for people to communicate, especially if the fires cause existing phone lines to shut down."

St Patrick's River Fire Brigade chief Brian Medcraft said the lack of reception meant interim advice, usually available from triple-0 operators, was not possible in the area.

"We had a motor vehicle accident here yesterday morning," Mr Medcraft said yesterday.

"The guy who called it in at 3.30am in the morning had to come all the way back to the house to make a phone call to 000.

"It was 20 or 30 minutes delayed before he could call for help - if you have an accident out here, you have to go to a home or a shop, or travel until you can get mobile access again."

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