Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life


Federal Member for Dawson, Andrew Willcox is calling on the Federal Government to further extend the Improving Mobile Coverage Round [IMCR] following Dawson completely missing out.

The IMCR will deliver funding to extend and improve mobile phone coverage and competition in regional and remote Australia, by co-funding new or upgraded telecommunications infrastructure in 54 target locations with up to $40 million available.

Mr Willcox said it is extremely disappointing to see the Government has completely forgotten about Dawson in its announcement.  54 locations across Australia have received a funding allocation, and Dawson has been completely left out despite having areas in the region with very little to no mobile service.

“Mobile phone coverage funding is a necessity and shouldn’t be a luxury only for those living in the cities. Dawson punches well above its weight when it comes to contributing taxes to our Government, yet we lack services and infrastructure,” he said.

“We have places suffering terrible mobile service in Dawson, like Slade Point, Beaconsfield, Merinda, Kuttabul, Bloomsbury, Dittmer, Crystalbrook, Cunjulla, Giru, Gnome and Cape Gloucester just to name a few. This is a major safety concern for residents living with minimal and unreliable mobile service.”


Member for Dawson, Andrew Willcox said Federal Labor’s proposal to impose a 10 per cent per year increase in fuel taxes and registration charges on the nation’s truckies would cost the sector an additional $2.6 billion over three years and add to inflationary pressures.

Mr Willcox added that the Albanese Government’s proposed increases to ‘truckie taxes’ would drive up cost-of-living pressures on local families and businesses and accelerate closures for small and family operated transport enterprises.

“Everything we make in this country starts on a local farm or in the ground, and every product we buy gets to a shop and to the end consumer by travelling on a truck,” Mr Willcox said.

Mr Willcox added, “By 2025-26 the nation’s truckies would be charged $1.35 billion more per year under Labor’s 10 per cent truckie tax,” official documents show.

“This comes at a time when local trucking businesses are paying significantly more for fuel, wages, insurance and maintenance on trucks resulting from the shocking conditions of many roads,” Andrew Willcox said.

“The additional taxes proposed by Labor could send some trucking businesses to the wall.”

“The Coalition will stand by our truckies and press the Labor Government to scrap its plans to increase truckie taxes by up to 10 per cent.”

Barnaby Joyce and Andrew Willcox

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