Ryan Park and Sharon Bird today jointly called on both the State and Federal governments to provide advice on planned improvements for mobile phone access on the Picton Road.
Recently Mrs Hayette Hanna, a local resident from Figtree, contacted Mr Park regarding a car accident on the Picton Road which resulted in the death of her sister. Her sister was a widow, a mother of five and grandmother of four. She passed away after the driver of the other vehicle ceased to pay attention and swerved to the wrong side of the road.
Mrs Hanna was unable to contact emergency services due to the numerous mobile phone blackspots along the length of the road.
In 2015, while Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull announced funding for a basestation in Coalcliff which were to address four mobile phone blackspots: Bundeena, Coalcliff, Helensburgh and the Picton Road (between Fire Road intersection and Mount Ousley Road).
Two years later people still report experiencing numerous mobile phone blackspots on the Picton Road.
Sharon Bird will today write to the Federal Communications Minister, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, requesting an update on the construction of the Coalcliff basestation and the reliability of mobile phone reception on the Picton Road.
The Picton Road also requires further improvements to reduce accidents on this important arterial road. With increasing volumes of cars making the trip to Western Sydney and Southern NSW along Picton Road each day, Illawarra motorists deserve to feel safe on a much-relied upon road.
Quotes attributable to Federal Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird
“Back in 2014, we encouraged the community to let us know where they were experiencing problems with mobile phone coverage and provided feedback from the community to the Department of Communications.
“Following representations from myself and the Member for Whitlam, Stephen Jones, funding for a basestation was announced two years ago in June 2015. One of the key problem areas raised was the Picton Road.
“This vital arterial road is heavily utilised by commuters, freight and tourists – we need to ensure that mobile signal is available in case of fire, accidents and other emergencies.
“We have seen chaos and instability in Parliament this week. We need to get back to real issues that affect real people.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park
“In the 21st century to not be able to contact emergency services due to a mobile phone blackspot is just not good enough. That’s why I’m calling on the NSW Government to work with the Commonwealth Government to reduce blackspots on Picton Road.
“This is an important road for Illawarra motorists, and it is only getting busier as the population and linkages between the Illawarra and South Western Sydney increase.
“Thousands of Illawarra residents rely on Picton Road daily. If an accident happens people need to be able to access emergency services quickly & efficiently.